Rehtaeh Parsons was my daughter

by Glen Canning

My daughter was three years old when we went to watch Babe: Pig in the City. There’s a part in the movie when Babe knocks over a goldfish bowl and the fish falls onto the floor and starts flopping around. When this happened Rae suddenly stood up on her chair in the movie theatre and started screaming for someone to help the fish. She cried for it as I tried to reassure her Babe would help (thank God he did) and that the fish would be alright.

That was the nature of my daughter Rehtaeh. She was like that her whole life. I couldn’t go for a walk in Halifax with her without her asking me for change to give to someone in need. She was always looking out for people or animals that needed help. She called Animal Control Services on our neighbours because they left their dog outside too long. Her room and her life was always full of little creatures.

Sometimes her heart was too big, sometimes it scared me.

They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher. My precious gift. She was the absolute best part of my life.

There’s a wooden box in my house that holds all the memories I have of my beautiful little girl. The outfit she wore home from the hospital, a hand print in clay, art, school cards and drawings, mementoes of her life. Even a newspaper dated December 9th, 1995, the day she came into this world.

I tried to keep it all for her, to have someday when she grew up and had her own family. That day will never come.

Rehtaeh died April 7th at 11:15 PM. She was 17 years old.

She died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months. She hung on right to the very end, when the nurses were telling us if she couldn’t be declared brain dead soon they couldn’t use her as an organ donor. We couldn’t wait any longer. She couldn’t live any longer. And right at the last moment there was a change in her blood pressure as the last part of her brain gave away. She knew she had to leave. It was time to let go and find peace.

It was so like her to hang on right up until the very last second. To give us all a chance to hold her hand, wipe her tears away, and kiss her beautiful face for the last time.

I tried my best to save my daughter’s life. I believe that in my heart.

I asked her repeatedly what I could do, was I doing enough, what did she want from me? She said she just wanted me to be her dad. To make her laugh. To do everything possible to keep a part of her life normal. She said it helped more than I could ever know.

I prayed for the best while I prepared her for the worst. We went to counseling together. Sometimes I was the drive, sometimes the father, sometimes the counselor.

The worst nightmare of my life has just begun. I loved my beautiful baby with all my heart. She meant everything to me. I felt her heart beating in my soul from the moment she was born until the moment she died. We were a team. We were best pals. We often sat on my couch and laughed until we could hardly speak. When we weren’t together she would call me or text me every single day, just to say hi, to say she loved me. The life I had with my daughter was a rare thing. It was wonderful, it consumed me. I was defined by it. It made my life rich and beautiful.

She was amazing.

Yesterday I looked at another wooden box. It will hold her ashes. I hate it.

I had to write something about this. I don’t want her life to defined by a Google search about suicide or death or rape. I want it to be about the giving heart she had. Her smile. Her love of life and the beautiful way in which she lived it.

I found out this afternoon my daughter saved the life of a young woman with her heart. How fitting.

She also gave someone a new liver, a kidney, a new breath, and a new chance to love. She saved the lives of four people with her final gift of life. She was that wonderful.

Someone out there is going to look at the world with my daughter’s eyes. The most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.

To the Justice Minister of Nova Scotia

Rehtaeh Parsons thought the worst outcome for her case would be no charges against the men who raped her but we all know better. The worst thing that could happen would be charges. That they would be found guilty, and that Rehtaeh would sit on a court bench and listen in utter disbelief as they were given parole, or a suspended sentence, or community service. All for completely destroying her life while they laughed.

Why is it they didn’t just think they would get away with it; they knew they would get away with it. They took photos of it. They posted it on their Facebook walls. They emailed it to God knows who. They shared it with the world as if it was a funny animation.

How is it possible for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime? What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t enough?

Why was this treated like a minor incident of bullying rather than a rape? Isn’t the production and distribution of child porn a crime in this country? Numerous people were emailed that photo. The police have that information (or at least they told us they did). When someone claims they were raped is it normal to wait months before talking to the accused?

You have the opportunity here to do something good and lets face it; the court system in Nova Scotia was just going to rape her all over again with indifference to her suffering and the damage this did to her.

My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death. Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.

She was my daughter, but she was your daughter too.

For the love of God do something.

***I’ve been contacted from media outlets from all over the world and as a past member of the media I understand why you all want to speak with me. You have all been very courteous, professional, and respectful. Please know, however, this is the only statement I am able to make. I’m to devastated.***

I feel like I’m dead inside.

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Scott Techentin April 10, 2013 - 4:14 pm

I am a new father and cant imagine your pain. I feel moved to speak, but struggle with what to say. I am sorry for your pain and loss. I hope others are as moved as I am, and together we can change.

Susan Drake April 10, 2013 - 5:15 pm

The hearts of many mourn with you…. Thank you for sharing.

Karen McMillan April 15, 2013 - 11:14 am

Dear Mr. Canning,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for the pain your daughter felt. She was a beautiful young girl and may she now rest with the angels. I pray for you and your family, may peace find its way to you.

Winona April 10, 2013 - 5:20 pm

I am so very, very sorry.

Cynthia Bragg April 10, 2013 - 5:21 pm

Hi Glenn, words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. Thank you for allowing us to better know Rehtaeh by sharing your love for her. I hope and pray that justice will be done.

dee brun April 10, 2013 - 5:45 pm

No words are big enough for this post…It is beautiful as was your daughter. I lost my soul mate to suicide, my older brother , he was my everything.

Women in this country and all over the world need to champion for your daughter and all the women like her for change.

Once again a Beautiful post…

Pamela Allende April 10, 2013 - 5:57 pm

I just want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss, your daughter was a beautiful girl, animal lover, kind and good to people and animals, Sending you all my love and support.
Pamela Allende
Seattle, WA

Gina April 10, 2013 - 5:57 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss…heart breaking. I pray you find peace during all of this.

Annette Richard April 10, 2013 - 6:01 pm

Glen, my hearts breaks for you & Rehteah! This one and only dignified public statement is testimony to your dedication as a caring father. We only knew each other for a short time during that year at Titans cheer, but it was enough for me to know that you were indeed a caring, giving and dedicated father. My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. No parent should ever have to walk in your shoes!

Jennifer April 10, 2013 - 6:04 pm

I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you and your family but especially your little girl. I too have a daughter. She is 8. I am so scared that this is the world she will grow up in. I only pray that you will find peace one day. She is now in a place without pain and disappointment. I have to believe that. Bless your daughter.

jack April 16, 2013 - 11:48 pm

A world where thousands, if not tens of thousands of random strangers feel the pain of a father and tell how they cried over Rehtaeh?

Robert Corkum April 10, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Amen and god bless your loss goes without words please note so many are standing behind you right now and want the same answers you do and will not stop till Rehteah and her family and friends have the justice they so deserve.

Christopher Majka April 10, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this, painful as it might have been to write. So many people, across this city, province, and country, now know about your daughter grieve for her and despair at the failures of society and the justice system that lead to this tragedy. The onus is on all of us to create a social, legal, and moral climate where none of these things happen. In this way, in addition the life that she gave to people through organ transplants, she can help create a better world so that others may be spared the travails the she faced. My sincere condolences.

Bree P April 10, 2013 - 6:39 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I’m 28, from cole harbour, attended Auburn Drive. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenager riddled with despair, hurting every day because of words muttered under my classmates breaths or written on the lockers. I lost a dear friend of mine in grade 8, he was only 13 when he took his own life because of bullying. He didn’t get the exposure your daughter is getting now, it has been happening for so long and though it is tragic it is important that her short life had purpose. Though it is too late for her, it isn’t for so many other young girls and boys coming up through our school system being bullied every day. I admire you for writing these words, and I also appreciate it. Parents like you are who will save my future children some day. I thank you for that.

Mary MacDonald April 10, 2013 - 6:47 pm

Glen, I am so so sorry that you are going through this ghastly ordeal. The community supports you and please do not let the evil that others do destroy you. If there is anything that we can do to help let us know.

sandra macphail April 10, 2013 - 7:05 pm

Dear Mr Canning, i’m sitting here reading your letter and i feel so bad for you and your family . your daughter was a beautiful young lady and should not have suffered so much in her young life ..i hope those 4 boys can live with themselves , and to say there was no justice is sad .. but there will be justice some day when they have to answer to a higher being… i’m 69 and i have 3 adult children .. i can not fathom what you are going through … i hope and pray you can get through this .. hug your family and friends and lean on them ..God bless you …sandra macphail

Carol April 10, 2013 - 7:08 pm

I have read and followed this since it hit the media. Your story of your daughter was heartfelt and touching. You and your family have suffered a huge loss. A beautiful, wise, and wonderful young woman has been taken. I too wonder why with pictures, could they not have been charged? Why were they charged on pornography?? There are so many whys? Know that many, many hearts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing.
May she rest in peace. God Bless.

Denise Pronk April 10, 2013 - 7:16 pm

My heart aches for you and your family. She will be on my list of heroes for standing up for what was right. You all must have been so proud of her.

Her story will save countless lives…you mark my words.

C. de Ste Croix April 10, 2013 - 7:21 pm

We are so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter Rehtaeh. Know that there are many who are praying for her and your family and that she is now peaceful and happy in heaven with God and all the animals that she so dearly loved.

Steve April 10, 2013 - 7:39 pm

My heart goes out to you. Our daughter was bullied, in no way at the extreme of Rehtaeh, and she is still suffering the consequences. The authorities seem to take it all so casually.

May you and your wife find the strength to go on. Please know that many more than those of us who post here are thinking of you and sending you our love.

Louise April 10, 2013 - 7:48 pm

My heartfelt thoughts and condolences to you and your family… Your daughter, she WILL always be with you. This I know for sure. If you are open to it, you will one day resume an incredible relationship with your daughter, who has gone to the next world, a relationship most will never understand, but it will fill you with joy again one day…. She will help you heal <3

Sending prayers up for you all….

Donald McDonald April 10, 2013 - 7:56 pm

I am deeply sorry for and troubled by your loss. Thank you for speaking out I cannot even imagine the pain and anguish.

Elizabeth Chamberlain April 10, 2013 - 7:59 pm

I have been sick to my stomach ever since I read her story…..You are right she did have the most beautiful eyes in the world……you could almost see right to her soul……Please accept my condolances and know that I signed the petition that has been circulating to bring those responsible to justice…..I have a beautiful grandaughter the exact same age, and I think this is why I feel your pain, or should I say realize your pain…..but really no one knows what you feel…..Anyway I have cried for your daughter because her beautiful picture touched me !!! Look to God for strength and realize that she is in the arms of Jesus where she will hurt no more. sending you hugs 🙁

S Wright April 10, 2013 - 8:01 pm

So sorry for your loss

Amber April 10, 2013 - 8:02 pm

Thank you for sharing your story about your beautiful daughter. You are so right…..she was let down by everyone she trusted. Something needs to be done. Those boys should not get away with this. Justice needs to be served or situations like this will keep happening.
Your daughter is beautiful and caring. You should be proud!!!

I am praying for you and your family. It is so unfair.

Cindy April 10, 2013 - 8:04 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you…and I certainly agree with your comment ~ “For the love of God do something.”

Dina Desveaux April 10, 2013 - 8:05 pm

Dear Mr. Canning,

There are simply NO words to express the deep-felt sympathy I, and countless others, feel for you, for your family and for all Rehtaeh’s loved ones. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Someday, many of Rehtaeh’s loved ones will want the answer to the following question:
How can we continue to fail our children, children just like Rehtaeh, in a country like Canada?

Every single one of us has a responsibility to the children in our communities, and especially our governments: ALL levels of government. Yet, how many times do we hear that issue on the eve of any election?

Although I have no children of my own, I have spent many hours contributing to the lobby of all those government levels, both as a teacher and as the former education manager of an organization that advocates for children’s rights.

I was once asked in an interview if there was something I hoped to convey through my writing. An excerpt of my answer:
“I want to convey the depth of my conviction that our greatest failure has been and continues to be our repeated dismissal as a society of every child’s right to grow up in dignity in an equitable world – a world safe from war and fear. Conversely, our greatest accomplishments are those times we’ve chosen to uphold and protect those fundamental rights, in creating communities where children can play, and laugh, and learn and grow into their full potential.”

Some days on the journey to upholding and protecting children’s rights, the complacency of many is incomprehensible. However, there ARE others: Compassionate, creative and determined people who want to help change this for our children.

Find these people. Keep the one’s you’ve already found close to you. Let them hold you up when you feel you are about to fall. The best ones may lift you up.

May your positive memories of Rehtaeh live in you forever.

That is my heart-felt wish for you & your loved ones.


Annabel April 10, 2013 - 8:06 pm

I’m so sorry for you loss
I just can imagine what you went through.
I promise I’ll do my best to change something, I don’t’ know yet what but I want to do something
We cannot let this society grow crazy with Internet free to accept all the bad and the stupidity of this world.
I’m sorry I did not have a chance to meet your wonderful daughter Rehtaeh but I wish you and your family to find comfort in the beautiful memories you are treasuring.
She was amazing! Thank you for sharing with us

Kelly April 10, 2013 - 8:08 pm

As a parent, my heart aches for you. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Bill Haughton April 10, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Your tribute to your daughter is a moving and heartfelt display of a father’s love for their child, and I cannot begin to fathom the pain you and your family feel right now. I too am a father and I am angry at what has happened and the lack of answers to this senseless tragedy. Have faith, and always remember that you are not alone in your quest for justice.

With a sad heart for your loss,

Bill Haughton
Creston, BC

Lavonne Carroll April 10, 2013 - 8:21 pm

How many more of our children will be exposed to this kind of abuse if we as a society don’t stand up now and stop this insanity… if the justice system can’t see the injustice in this case then there is something wrong with social justice! Measures were taken by the family to help their daughter, nothing changed, why because the abusers we not accountable, why because the justice system failed! I am very angry as a parent, grandparent and citizen of this community to be made aware of the results of neglect by the justice system, schools and anyone in the position of authority that did not step in to help this child before it got to this point… I am angry and feel for the family of the child… god bless you all!

Sandee April 10, 2013 - 8:22 pm

Please accept my deepest sympathy. My heart breaks for you and your family. As a mother of a boy and a girl I can only imagine the heartache this has caused. Rehtaeh was a beautiful young woman. She was obviously loved very very much by her family. Thank you for sharing these memories of her. Her heart will surely live on. God bless.

Daniel from Edmonton April 10, 2013 - 8:27 pm

I haven’t cried in years and your letter made me weep silently in my office for half an hour, I think partly with grief for your loss of such an obviously wonderful daughter and partly for how disappointed I am that that our Community has fallen to this low and that noone could find a way to help Rehtaeh, let alone prevent this. As a father of three young girls your story has effected me profoundly and I hope that my voice of support finds common strenght to challange a system that has caused this sensless tragedy. I’m Praying for you and beautiful Rehtaeh.

Constance Foy April 10, 2013 - 8:28 pm

Dear Mr. canning, I cannot imagine the grief you suffer. To lose a child has to be the most devastating of all. My heart goes to you and your family.
I start to get respect for the law and then something like this shows its ugly face. There is no justice in Halifax it seems. Someone has to do something to rectify the wrong done here. Words escape me; I am to angry. I hope those 4 scum of the earth pay dearly for what they have done.

kenny April 10, 2013 - 8:28 pm

Glen, Once I heard your story i could not help but to feel devasted and heart broken for you and your family. It is a real shame that our justice system took your daughters case and threw it to the side. I pray to God that those boys arebraught to justice and given twice as much as they deserve. Their days are coming… Im so sorry again for you loss, words can not describe. I and many others are thinking about you… Your story really hit my heart.

Lori Pearce April 10, 2013 - 8:29 pm

I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story and her story. What the hell is the matter with our world. &^&*#$% for God’s sake people.

Cheryl April 10, 2013 - 8:29 pm

I have been deeply touched by your daughter’s story! Made me cry, that’s for sure! Especially because, as a parent, I look at your daughter’s story and see my daughter in her and the challenges she will have to face in today’s world. Rehtaeh’s death will certainly not be in vain, if anything her story has begun to open people’s eyes to what’s really happening in our society. It must have been very hard to write what you did, thank you! It surely stands for the beginning of real change! Wishing you and your family peace during this difficult time!

Jared April 10, 2013 - 8:35 pm

You are a strong man, and your post touched me as I am the father of two young children, one being my 3 year old daughter.
My heart breaks for you and I can’t imagine your pain. I have signed the petition and wish there was something more I could do. The lives she has saved will live on because of her donation. And her legacy will continue to touch many lives through her story.
May God bless you during this painful time. Love and prayers are with you and your family from Montreal.

Sarah April 10, 2013 - 8:47 pm

I am so sorry that Rehteah was disappointed by people she trusted. I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person and you sound like a great dad. What a tragic and senseless loss. Please know that your story — her story — will make a difference. We will not forget.

AlwaysARedhead April 10, 2013 - 8:51 pm

It is a tragedy what happened to your daughter, my heart aches for you and your family. As I parent, whose own child experienced bullying years ago, I can still only imagine your pain. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I hope with what you have written, the digital evidence, the police will wake up and lay charges against the individuals who raped your daughter and publicized it. In the meantime, your wonderful memories and the fact that your daughter saved four other lives is beautiful, she will live on in others.

Carrie Fisher April 10, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and heart breaking words. I am so sorry for what your daughter had to endure and the suffering your family must be going through. Sending you and your family (and most of all your daughter) love and peace.

Amissa April 10, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Words can not even begin to express how sorry i am for your loss, and how angry it makes me that this behavior from bullies and rapist are not taking seriously . I am a new mother and would die if something ever happened to my daughter like this , from the bottom of my heart i wish you peace and healing , i am so sorry .

Lori April 10, 2013 - 9:03 pm

Dear Mr. Canning, Words can not express how sorry I am for your loss. I cried when I read her story yesterday and now reading yours. Your daughter was a beautiful young woman. Hearing you tell of who she was and her big beautiful heart was very touching. What an awesome gift for her to give so that others may live. I cannot imagine what you are going through as I have never had a child die but I have had one of my daughters be raped and I know how my heart stopped the second I heard the news. I know the hell she went through and that there really was no justice for what was done to her. My heart is breaking for you. I’ve been praying for you and her other loved ones ever since I heard. Please know that there are many of us out here that grieve your daughters rape and death. I am so so sorry.

CN April 10, 2013 - 9:06 pm

R.I.P. Rehtaeh My thoughts and prayers are with your family and loved ones. This brings tears to my eyes and hurts my heart.

Adrienne April 10, 2013 - 9:18 pm

I’m so very sorry. Your daughter was an extraordinary young woman and I thank you for sharing her with us. I am so sorry for what was done to her, and for all that was not done for her.

A MOM April 10, 2013 - 9:19 pm

I cannot imagine your heart break. To see your daughter survive the events of 2 years ago, struggle and attempt to rebuild self esteem that those creatures stole from her unfathomable. Take strength in knowing although she could not save herself she saved 4 other lives so unselfishly. I pray for you and your family that you may get some closure with at least those who started this awful nightmare for you all facing some punishment. I am amazed at her quote the media released what a truly smart young lady.

in tears April 10, 2013 - 9:37 pm

I learned about this story from a friend of you daughter’s. she was so sad and had to share the story. from the first picture I saw of her I was crying. this is so sad and UNFAIR. nobody should ever have to go through this. it is just heartbreaking. I love that her life did good though. not enough people decide to donate organs, and I am really grateful to you on behalf of the recipients. it sounds like she was a wonderful person, and he presence on earth will be missed.

kate April 10, 2013 - 9:43 pm

Is it possible to build a “You Matter” campaign in partnership with schools, social media sites, etc. where kids who want to support kids being bullied or harassed can show their support by quietly gifting “You Matter” bracelets or sending cyber messages, anonymously or otherwise, offering support, a kind word, or wishes meant to strengthen one’s feeling of affiliation with a tolerant, non-judgmental peer group? A place where the only choices in the drop down boxes are positive, inspirational, caring, and accepting. Sometimes it’s not enough to feel the love of your friends, your family, your community. Sometimes belonging for a kid is bigger than that; it’s about feeling that the world beyond your iPhone, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your email address knows who you are and is ready to embrace you with tolerance and acceptance, offering wishes of good karma. Most of us are blessed with never knowing the deep, hopeless pain that drives the innocents to seek an end to their suffering. Don’t let the bad guys win. Harness the same media power they used to torment Rehtaeh and overload the system with all that is good and sweet and loving. She would like that; she was like that.

Kris from Maryland, U.S. April 10, 2013 - 11:11 pm

What a beautiful idea, Kate! I love it. And I do think it would honor Rehtaeh in a meaningful and powerful way. Let me know if I can help make it happen.

Rachel Ennis April 10, 2013 - 9:57 pm

you are setting a precedent for what will no longer be tolerated..
thank you for that..
i am so sorry

Rick April 10, 2013 - 10:02 pm

Sir it is with a heart full of sadness that i write to you, may your beloved and beautiful daughter now walk among the angels. God bless your family

Jean April 10, 2013 - 10:20 pm

I am so sorry for your lost and am sure your daughter is living in a better and happier world where she belongs to. God bless you and your family.

Amber Bracken April 10, 2013 - 10:27 pm

Glenn, my heart is breaking for you and your family. The injustice that was done to Rehtaeh was unspeakable and I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing what was so beautiful about her, may there be light in your life one day again.

Marni April 10, 2013 - 10:34 pm

Beautifully and painfully written; I am so touched by your courage and a father’s deep love. I hope for justice to be done for you and your daughter.

Dan April 10, 2013 - 10:34 pm

Mr. Canning please know that Father’s from around the world weep for your loss and are outraged by the multiple despicable crimes and complete lack of enforcement. Hearing about this tradegy just now, I am personally stunned by what has unfolded for many months. I hope the cry for justice and reform is ever loud, demanding and does not cease. As a Dad with an 18 year old daughter, my only child, I can only imagine your grief and my heart goes out to you and your family.

Dan Joyce
Lindsay, ON

RB in Rhode Island April 10, 2013 - 10:35 pm

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and intimate portrait of your daughter, and of your loss. We all grieve with you. I truly believe that anyone who reads your words–so raw, so eloquent, so needed–will always remember Rehteah and the imprint she leaves behind. And will join you in seeking justice. You are making a difference.

Peter April 10, 2013 - 10:35 pm

I heard about this on the news, this however was the only article I have read and will define this story for me. My heart goes out you and to her mum and the rest of the family. “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice” <- MLK. Here I think Justice is slow but will bend to the moral arc of the universe.

Devon Romanick April 10, 2013 - 10:35 pm

Dear Glen, my heart aches for you and your family. Your daughter’s story, along with far too many other’s, have brought me to tears. The justice system has failed your daughter, your family – it has failed the people. Again. This has to stop, now, before this failure claims another beautiful life. I am so sorry for your loss, your family is in my thoughts and prayers, *hugs*
Devon – Listowel, ON

Rebecca April 10, 2013 - 10:35 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Heather Cockerline April 10, 2013 - 10:43 pm

Your words are beautiful and paint a lovely picture of a delightful girl who is deeply loved. Your Rehtaeh could be any of our daughters and your loss hits home like it could be my own. My daughter experienced the pain of social bullying in high school. I don’t cry easily but there I was crying in the Pricipals office, begging for action to help my daughter. My heart breaks for your loss.

Anita Tompkins April 10, 2013 - 10:47 pm

Mr. Canning I cannot describe to you how much my heart hurts for you. Thank you for your eloquent and beautiful description of your daughter and your relationship with her. Please know I am praying for you and mourning your incredible loss.

Charlene Fisher April 10, 2013 - 10:48 pm

No words can express my heart felt grief for you and your family. She is beautiful and her spirit will always be with you. Sending you love, healing and light!

Susan April 10, 2013 - 10:55 pm

I am praying that you will find strength in Jesus. God is a just God. He will punish those who need punishing.
May the angels from heaven be your comfort. You’re a great daddy, never stop believing that. Bless you

eiolna March 11, 2014 - 4:05 pm

so sad

Tina Bursey April 10, 2013 - 10:58 pm

God Bless you…… reading this article I feel your pain during this tragic journey but I also feel the great love that you shared with your beautiful daughter, let that love and all your wonderful memories help you in your struggle to make sense out of a senseless world. Keep your heart and mind open she will always be with you.

Erin April 10, 2013 - 11:10 pm

How heartbreaking to read your beautiful tribute to your daughter. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a courageous decision to donate her organs to give someone else life. So very sorry for your loss.

Kris April 10, 2013 - 11:20 pm

Dear Glen,

Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your beautiful daughter’s life and your special relationship with her. Many hearts are breaking along with yours as this tragic story makes its way around the world.

Know that your words are powerful, Rehtaeh’s life was meaningful, and that you are in many many hearts and prayers tonight and for years ahead.

Sending strength and peace to you and yours,

Ellicott City, Maryland, U.S.

Caroline Freedman Devon April 10, 2013 - 11:23 pm

We are all grieving at the loss of your young, beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to allow us to get to know her better. May she rest in peace. Caroline from Toronto, Canada

Dave April 10, 2013 - 11:29 pm

I grabbed the paper early this morning in Halifax and stuck it in my laptop bag and only read it this evening in PEI. I cannot tell you how much this affected me. I have two girls ages 11 and 8 and to read the articles today and now go on this web page…it has been so difficult to digest, and I have never met you or your family. I have never written on a web site or blog in my life, but if you see this I want you to know that you daughter was like my daughters……….Special……..

marc kaplan April 10, 2013 - 11:35 pm

As human beings, it seems we have lost our way.
My h eart goes out to you and your family.

Jeanie April 10, 2013 - 11:38 pm

Thank you Glenn for sharing the life of your beautiful daughter. We are all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Kelly S in Halifax April 10, 2013 - 11:50 pm

My heart is breaking for you and your family. There are no words to express what you are dealing with. So many people failed your daughter, I pray that our communities can stand and be a voice for her now!!!

Sharon April 10, 2013 - 11:50 pm

I have only one question ” Why do the parents of these boys not make them step up to the plate and be a man”? If they are old enough to do the crime then they should be old enough to do the time!!! I have no sons but if I had and he had done this his butt would be hauled into the nearest police station and he would own up…..but this apparently is not the case so all can say is i hope to God these parents have no daughters……May your daughter rest in peace now and may you and her mother get justice….

Janice April 10, 2013 - 11:55 pm

My condolences to you and your family. I have shed a few tears for your beautiful daughter, for the pain you live with now and for the injustice you have felt.

M April 11, 2013 - 12:02 am


First let me say that your description of your relationship with your daughter moved me to tears. She sounds like she is/was a good person and a truly remarkable human being.

I am so sorry for your loss, and words cannot describe how angry I am at the stupid RCMP officers and the boys who did this. I hope you get justice <3

Terra Simpkins April 11, 2013 - 12:06 am

We met a few times through your work, but I don’t expect you to remember me. I will always remember you.

As I just tucked in my 2yo and 6mo daughters tonight I put a little prayer out to the universe that my girls and NO girl should ever be harmed, raped or brutalized like Rehteah has been. May she rest in peace and may her family find some small comfort in knowing that her story will help change the world. Cole Harbour is mourning with you Glenn, Leah and your Families. My heart breaks for you.

RCMP watching Anonymous after threats to reveal names in Rehtaeh Parsons case | April 11, 2013 - 12:15 am

[…] father, Glen Canning, wrote a letter about his daughter on Wednesday describing her as the absolute best part of his […]

Rose April 11, 2013 - 12:17 am

There are absolutely no words to express the sadness and pain that we feel for your loss. May God grant you and your daughter’s Mom peace in the knowledge that your daughter lives on in others because of her unselfishness.
That will never replace her however and that is where the sadness is eternal. Thank you for allowing us to know Rehtaeh and the love you shared. God bless…

Mariellen Ward April 11, 2013 - 12:18 am


This is the most beautiful and heartfelt thing I have ever read on the internet, and I love you for writing it. Your daughter did not die in vain when you put something beautiful and true out into the world like this. Thank you for speaking up for all abused women. There are a lot of us. And this year is going to turn out to be a watershed year for women, and you and your daughter have contributed mightily to our freedom and emancipation from a deeply embedded worldwide culture of misogyny.

Life is mysterious and no one knows why these awful things happen, and I can’t say anything that will make you feel better. But if you get the chance to watch the movie Fierce Grace about Ram Dass, I encourage you to do so. Ram Dass wrote a letter that is read out loud in that movie, to a couple whose daughter was murdered, and the words actually helped them. Maybe they will help you too.

God bless you.

DRlNKlN' M0M April 11, 2013 - 12:21 am

This ignorant comment has been removed.

The IP for Anonymous is:

Sally April 12, 2013 - 11:14 am

How can you dare to post this? What the hell is wrong with you?

Lii April 12, 2013 - 2:22 pm

You’re a horrible person. Get off this site. What happened to that girl was awful and here you are mocking her parents, who have just lost their precious daughter?
Your name says that you are a mother. God help your children.

Malcolm April 12, 2013 - 4:39 pm

You’re kidding me? How can you even type that? You are going to hell. Sounds to me like you are the mother of one of the scumbags that did this. Well, it looks like you have eternity to parent them where they are going to as well.

Sylvie April 12, 2013 - 11:52 pm

If any “parenting awards” should be given, they should go to the parent’s of the 4 boys, and especially to the parent who hosted this drunken party. I really hope THEY are exposed in an investigation!

Crystal April 13, 2013 - 12:10 pm

What an absolutely disgusting individual you are to say such horrible things about another human being! I pray that the indecency of your swift judgement of this young woman’s character at a time such as this haunts & shames you for the rest of your days….despicable people such as YOURSELF hiding behind their computer screens and spewing venomous comments about others is why these tragedies occur – no thought for how your actions impact the well-being of those you choose to tear down….I can only pray that you are not a parent or have anything to do with the upbringing of children and can spread your poisonous values to generations to come! I do hope you are embarrassed by your actions because I’m certainly embarrassed that you are a member of our community……..

Denise Pronk April 13, 2013 - 1:37 pm

There’s a great Mom speaking….lord help your children. I feel sorry for them.

On another note…having sex does not make someone a tramp. Being taken advantage of while under the influence of alcohol is rape lady and I for one hope you never have to deal with what that does to a person regardless of circumstances.

If you had any courage at all you would have used your real name when posting here but I see that you have none of that either.

Hopefully your children and grandchildren to come will make out well despite your ignorance. Good luck to them.

Frederick Harrison April 13, 2013 - 2:41 pm

DRLNKLN’ MOM – It is my sincere wish/prayer that your message is traced back to its origin, that you be exposed for the troll you are, and that your picture appears in every form of media so that people can recognize you and publicly berate you, and that you carry for the shame and rejection appropriate to your posting this hurtful and malicious remark until death (assuming you have the capacity to feel shame).

The only positive thing about your post is that it demonstrates the need for changes to the law so that cyber bullies like yourself can no longer continue to spread your vile missives with impunity.

May April 13, 2013 - 3:22 pm

This comment is the perfect example of the sick bullying that cost this poor girl her life. Whats even sadder is that apparently you are old enough to be a parent yourself and stoop to bullying the parents of the victim. Very disturbing !

Cathy April 13, 2013 - 5:31 pm

Coward…… just like the rapists you hide behind the anonymity the Internet provides.

Pearl April 13, 2013 - 5:58 pm

And herein lies the biggest part of the problem! Shame on the person who posted this garbage.

Are You MC? April 13, 2013 - 9:23 pm

to DRlNKlN’ M0M…
this child’s family have asked that the perps not be bullied but brought to formal justice. So, I extend the same to you, with the thought you surely must be MC – Mentally Comprimised. Perhaps Child Welfare should do a Welfare Check on your children?

Or, I do wonder
Are you possibly one of the Perps Or one of the Perps’ Parents?

Sharon April 14, 2013 - 5:50 pm

It’s bullies like you who are the seeds of tragedies like this! A child is bullied and raped and you post these terrible words, where is your humanity?

OneWhoKnows April 15, 2013 - 9:13 am

Drinkin’ Mom,
I don’t believe under the circumstances this child had the capacity to consent, which in my view constitutes rape!

Drew Bremner April 15, 2013 - 4:14 pm

I hope I meet you in the sewer you come from and get to bitch slap your ugly mouth! You are a good reason for pro choice. Must be one of yours named in this eh? Speaking of good parenting???

Frederick April 17, 2013 - 12:34 am

Drinkin’Mom’s IP address is according to the software that removed his comment. Feel free to provide it to the police.

Heather April 11, 2013 - 12:23 am

I’m so sorry, Glen. I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of your pain.

Christina April 11, 2013 - 12:27 am

Your letter was beautiful and will touch millions.
I am so sorry for your loss.
My daughter is 13yrs of age and I am afraid
for her future in this sick world.
I am afraid that I cannot protect her enough from
the evil that exists.
Tonight I wanted to remove her freedom of having access to social media
and she told me that I would be taking away her childhood.
The youth of today are desensitized to cruel behaviour.
I absolutely blame the parenting, lack of punishment/responsibility in schools and our laws which protect young offenders.
At this point they have had no repurcussion for crime.
Youth today are not being held responsible for much.
I do hope that this will be the final eye opener that our
Canadian government will need to get the ball rolling on tightening
up the laws and punishment for such disgusting behaviour.

Joe April 11, 2013 - 12:31 am

The sad truth is that you are right about the justice she would have received had the rapists been convicted. A slap on the wrist for destroying a life (lives). Rape is not punished as it should be. Hardly justice. So very sorry that justice is not justice. No amount of punishment can bring back your precious daughter. My heart weeps for the loss of your daughter and the pain you are wrestling with.

Chris Brosnan April 11, 2013 - 12:31 am

Dear Glen,
Your courage, your devotion and the overwhelming love for your beautiful Rehtaeh shines from your words my brother. I cannot stop the tears from falling at the story you have shared. No words that I can offer, could possibly comfort or console you. However…

May the light of Rehtaeh’s gifts, be the peace that now comforts you. May the warmth of her memory bring you love that rises beyond the mundane. May the truth in your words be the inspiration and power that brings justice where honestly deserved. May your beautiful heart be at one with Rehtaeh’s for the journey to come, and long may you live with the nobility that graces the lives of others, as you have to mine, with your heartfelt integrity.

Dimitrios April 11, 2013 - 12:33 am

May your love for your darling daughter Rehtaeh be a shiny beacon that re-unites you in Heaven. Indeed, there is nothing this idiotic system can do for you, there can be no satisfactory answers … just your love is all…
You have touched us deeply

Thank you

Pat Melsted-Chabot April 11, 2013 - 12:40 am

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of this beautiful girl.
I am crying now.
I don’t think you could have predicted this outcome, no one could.
I always wanted a daughter; I had 3 sons.
But now I have 5 grand daughters, and I am so afraid for them.
Justice must be done for your beautiful, kind, and loving daughter.
This could be anyone’s daughter – abused and tormented at a time when she had the normal emotional swings of puberty.
How she dealt with it is not what any one of us would want for our daughters or grand daughters, but I can honestly say that if that was me; I don’t think I would have done anything different, given the hormonal swings of adolescents.
So I implore you to carry on and make those responsible to be held accountable.
You will be saving other young girls.
And thank you for saving others through organ donation.
Rehteah’s life was very important and was not in vain, but you know that.

elaine April 11, 2013 - 12:40 am

praying that you can find your strength in the Lord Jesus Christ…so sorry for your loss.

Deborah April 11, 2013 - 12:41 am

Glen, I am a stranger. I read this and cried. I have two girls myself, 15 & 18 and my heart just breaks for you. You are right. She was my daughter too and a lot of people let her down so horribly. We need to put a stop to this. We HAVE to put a stop to it for all our daughters. I will pray for strength for you and your wife. I would pray for the burden to be lessened but I don’t think that anything could really do that. God love you.

Norm April 11, 2013 - 12:57 am

Glen: I am a man approximately your age, with a daughter about the same age as your Rehtaeh. In my years I have never had a news story bring me to tears, but that’s changed as of tonight. My eyes are red not only for your temendous loss, but also for knowing that this unbelievable episode unfolded in a Canadian community, and in a school no less. For you and your family I wish closure in the form of an investigation that delivers a meaningful outcome: one that bestows some form of accountability on the people that let Rehtaeh down, and one that makes this kind of story unlikely to be repeated. My heart goes out to you. I hope you find peace.

Dominic April 11, 2013 - 1:00 am

Your story is being read by millions across the world right now.. I hope something worth while comes from all of this.. May your family find peace in your time of suffering and may justice be served in one way or another. I have a feeling it will.

Kim April 11, 2013 - 1:04 am

In the end she took control of her own body..those pathetic freaks took her dignity and her she has taken their peace of mind by leaving them with THIS to live with..this grossly inhumane disgusting act..not only are we speaking of the attackers but the adults who were supposed to protect her. I hope all those that failed her will live long and suffer everyday for what they did to this beautiful angel. God bless you and may you find peace by hanging onto Gods hand tightly. I am a survivor of Bullying and a brutal sexual attack where I almost died. Survive for your daughters name speaking it loud and clear ..your voice is needed and it will be heard. In my heart…Kimberly

M April 11, 2013 - 1:09 am

So terribly sorry for your loss but thank you for telling us a little bit more about your beautiful girl. I will remember her. Her story is horrifying…I can only hope that she will be part of changing the world so other parent’s daughters don’t have to suffer as yours did.

Brian in BC April 11, 2013 - 1:14 am

Glen, I had to pause many times while reading your post to wipe away tears. As a father, my heart breaks to think that anyone could do this to a child. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for this tribute to your daughter. It was beautiful and you have honoured her greatly.

March April 11, 2013 - 1:19 am

To the best Dad ever! If we could only take a fraction of your hurt we would. Thank you for sharing you have an amazing daughter. Glen let her live through the wonderful memories you have. I have lost some love ones and found they are always there with us. Until you meet again . I pray for you and your family for the strength to get you through this. Rehtaeh your special angel was / is / and will always be. Bless you and your family.

Elan Morgan April 11, 2013 - 1:24 am

My heart is with you, for what that is worth, and I am so touched that her life has saved others. My aunt is with us today because of a heart that was given to her, and our gratitude is miles deep.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of your love for Rehtaeh.

Dorothy April 11, 2013 - 1:32 am

You are a very loving, courageous father.
Your daughter’s heart will beat on.
God is with you and for you right now.
Rely on him for strength and peace.
HE will never abandon you.

Gina Dimalanta April 11, 2013 - 1:34 am

I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers are with your family.

Gord Mooney April 11, 2013 - 1:35 am

No parent should have to endure the loss of a child. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. Words seem to be so inadequate.
May you find strength in the legacy that your beautiful and courageous daughter leaves as she gives life to others.

Gord Mooney
Edmonton, AB

Julia April 11, 2013 - 1:35 am

I am SO sorry for your loss.

Gina Dimalanta April 11, 2013 - 1:37 am

I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Cacinda Maloney April 11, 2013 - 1:37 am

Thanks for your honesty in sharing this heartbreaking event of losing your 17 year old daughter. My heart aches for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

Bryan April 11, 2013 - 1:42 am

My heart breaks for your loss. I can’t imagine what your pain must be like.

As the father of a young son, please know that I will truly teach my kids to respect their peers, boys and girls. I promise you that my kids will know that assault in any form is wrong. Also I promise that my kids will know that being part of a community is to stand up for others and help prevent these tragedies from occurring.

I promise you that I will do everything I can as a parent to ensure that my kids and those that associate with them are those people that will help prevent these situations from happening at all.

I am so sorry and ashamed that I as a member of our community didn’t do enough to prevent the tragedy that has befallen your family from occurring, either by inaction or inattention.

I am truly sorry.

Iris Vander Pluym April 11, 2013 - 1:49 am

Glen, you and Rehtaeh represent the very best of humanity. I am so sorry for your loss.

Rehtaeh is a loss to all of us.

Logo April 11, 2013 - 1:51 am

Glen – Thank you for sharing this. The warmth of Rahteah’s smile beams through. Please know that your daughters name will remain in my mind and actions as a reminder to continue to fight for the dignity and survivors of sexual assault. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Miz Dinah April 11, 2013 - 1:53 am

Sending my love from BC. Your daughter was a beautiful girl with a big heart. She should be remembered for the lovely person that she was. Thank you for sharing your story. ♥

A father April 11, 2013 - 1:57 am

It is obvious, through your words and even more clearly & simply, through those pictures, that the love you have for your daughter was returned in spades by her to you. Hold on to this and know you were a source of joy and happiness for your beautiful girl.

Sending you all the peace I can muster.

Marilyn April 11, 2013 - 2:00 am

Dear Glen no one should have to witness loosing their child, and the courage you have shown in sharing this horrendous unjust story is to be commended. You daughter was an earth angel and my heart goes out to you and your family on your loss of such a beautiful little girl.

I am just a Father

A father’s joy no one knows except another father
A father’s pain non one knows except another father

Like butterflies and tress a father sees his beautiful daughter grow and transform

Spreading her wings and preparing her for leaving home while
sinking her roots and growing upwards, the beauty of those only
a father knows.
written – Marilyn E

My heart and prayers are with you Glen

Anonymous April 11, 2013 - 2:03 am

How incredibly sad this is… I can only begin to imagine the depth of your pain, and I am so so sorry for your loss.

I do not have children but I am the child of my parents who also lost a daughter, when she was 5 years old. I know that the loss of a child is one of the most devastating things possible that can happen to anyone, especially in circumstances such as your beloved Rehtaeh’s. I too have been a random victim of sexual assault by four men, kidnapped off the street 32 years ago. They were not brought to justice; the course of my life changed forever… Please know that your daughter’s suffering has been put to rest and she is now at peace… I hope that you will find some solace in this.

My heart and prayers go out to you and your loved ones. God bless.

Chang April 11, 2013 - 2:04 am

I am so sorry for your loss. May God bring you strength in this very difficult time. Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful relationship with your daughter. I cannot imagine the pain and heartbreak your family has and is enduring. I cannot believe the police have not acted given all of the evidence. Something must be done!!!

Janet from Cranbrook April 11, 2013 - 2:07 am

Dear Glen
My heart is broken ..Please do not let this senseless act destroy you!Your beautidul daughter would not have wanted that for her beloved Dad.I am so sorry that this cruel .insensitive action by these 4 people took your daughter so far down she could not get back up to the light of living again…It hurst me that this is what heartless people can do to one another..

Patsy April 11, 2013 - 2:13 am

Oh my gosh, I have cried through this whole reading & comments. God Bless you all. Rehtaeh, a lovely name for a lovely girl. I know we can’t take your pain away, but, we sure can pray. Please, consider a book with the story & all these comments, so the public can see & know the details.
That Police force & the justice system are a disgrace to our country & to Nova Scotia & particularly, to your family. The boys should be rotting in lockup somewhere for years to come…they got away with it once, that’s just encouragement to repeat the crime. I hope it helps somehow that others share your pain & grief. In God’s name, may justice prevail. (((Hugs))) for the whole family.

radapawa April 11, 2013 - 2:14 am

I read your letter online. Can’t believe what can happen to our children; and all of what you sayin your letter is true. How can the RCMP not find evidence of a crime if digitally, the evidence might be all over the world by now!
I empathize, sympathize and grieve with you. Sincerely, R. Pawa

D April 11, 2013 - 2:18 am

I’m so sorry for your loss, Mr. Parsons.
Your beautiful daughter will be remembered for the wonderful person that she was. may she rest in peace.
But the world will know those who hurt her and failed her for what they are.

Erma April 11, 2013 - 2:25 am

Mr Canning
I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and your words ache my heart. I can’t even imagine how you were able to put your grief aside to write such a beautiful tribute and allow the world to share in your memories of Rehtaeh. You’re a very brave man and obviously part of why Rehtaeh was so great. I truly hope that this outpouring of grief helps heal and creates change. Social media has really transformed the manner in which people behave and laws have to pass AND PASS NOW in order to address bullying. My 13 and 16 year old daughters are constantly telling me there’s nothing to worry about in their world, but obviously all it takes is one incident. They learn about bullying, but do these kids really understand how bad it can really get? They don’t need more examples of it. We must all keep doing all we can to protect them. You were such a big part of that for Rehtaeh which was so moving and I commend you. Justice will be served and Rehtaeh with her special name will be remembered for her big heart and smile, and for making a difference.


Angie April 11, 2013 - 2:30 am

Dear Mr. Canning,
I am so very sorry for your loss and my heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling. You had, and will always have, a beautiful daughter. I am from Nova Scotia, but have called Edmonton my home for the last 8 years, but I want you to know that we on the other side of the country are weeping with you. We are horrified and shocked by the inaction of the people who had the power to do something about this to help your daughter. Please accept my very deepest condolences.
Angie in Edmonton

Anon shinobi April 11, 2013 - 2:30 am

We will help.
We are anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget

Expect us

Sylvie April 12, 2013 - 11:28 pm

Thank You Anon.

Amy April 11, 2013 - 2:36 am

Glen, I feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your joy. Please know, there is a community of us that are fighting to make sure this does not happen to another person’s daughter. There is a petition that is going around. This Rape Culture has to stop. This is Canada. I am disgusted by the Nova Scotia RCMP, through and through. Please be comforted your daughter did not suffer in vain, she has inspired a renewed energy to fight. We will change this, for her, for Amanda Todd and for all those silenced.

Alex April 11, 2013 - 2:37 am

I am really sorry for your loss and also, thank you for your sharing. Your memories are beautiful and I believe so were Rehtaeh’s.She was very lucky since she have wonderful parents like you and your wife.

I am really touched by your letter. Watching your daughter growing up, caring for her days by days, but painfully you have to see her going away. 17 years seems to be long yet very short for a person to acknowledge the world. I truly hope that justice to be done so that your beautiful child dont have to die in vain.

Heather shaw April 11, 2013 - 2:44 am

I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story and her story too. May She R.I.P.and life on though the poeple she Helped ..

Sylvia Park April 11, 2013 - 2:45 am

My thoughts and prayers are extended to you and your family.

Annabel April 11, 2013 - 2:51 am

I’m so very sorry for your loss and so sorry the world can be so wrong sometime.
I wish you and your family to find comfort in the beautiful memories you are treasuring.

Christine McComas April 11, 2013 - 2:51 am

Dear Glenn,
My heart was in my throat as I read your eloquent and loving post. I am so sorry…. please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I also felt angry. Your story has several similarities to ours…. not only in how similar our daughters were in their tenderness and giving natures, but also unfortunately in their struggle and in their deaths.
We lost our beautiful 15-y-o daughter one year ago this week…. due to hatred and evil and our inability to make others understand how seriously damaging and careless others can be. Our daughter’s name was Grace McComas…. she also, in her last act of kindness was able to give new life to others thru organ donation.
I know that right now you are in a haze, stuck in a nightmare that you are desparately hoping to wake up from…. and nothing makes sense. Please know that my husband and I understand, and would happily listen/talk/help in any way.
I know it is much too early for you to think about such things, but in time remember that just last week we were able to get a law passed in Maryland, U.S. that make cyberbullying a crime…. the emotional distress caused by those miscreants should be punished…. we found out during our struggle that Facebook and Twitter were loopholes in the law here….. these things just shouldn’t be happening….
I am so sorry…. she clearly was a beautiful human being, inside and out.
You can find out more of our story and contact me here:

Chris McComas

ateret April 11, 2013 - 2:57 am

I was sorry to read about your daughter , these animals must be punished and be in person all there life!!!
as a mother I hope you will see an happy life

Katarina Lindgren April 11, 2013 - 2:57 am

Hi Im writing you from Stockholm, Sweden. I first would like to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. It is clear to see that you two had an amazing relationship. Like I have with my dad. I am sure that she is watching over you, and the love you have for eachother will never go away.. The laws of rape is as awful in Sweden as it seems to be in Novia Scotia. If a young woman is raped the blame falls on her, even in the case of evidence like photos and bruises. Why do we feel we need to tell our girls how to behave not to get raped, by not wearing short skirts and so on? The blame is never on the girl. Why dont we focus on the reasons why men think it is okej to rape someone? There is much to discuss here, and a lot needs to be done. … And last I just want to thank you for writing your text, Im sure it will help many out there.

Lorrie April 11, 2013 - 3:03 am

Deepest sympathy to you family and friends. Thoughts and prayers are with you. Your daughter was so special. I pray you there is justice for her.

H.Hartmann April 11, 2013 - 3:04 am

As a father of 4,i can not even imagine the pain you must be going through.Someone had better be held accountable.Speak up people,can you imagine if this was your child?

Natalie April 11, 2013 - 3:16 am


Before exposure to this beautiful window into the person who was your daughter, I heard a radio interview with her mother. My heart broke as I listened, and I didn’t even know her and don’t know you. No one can fathom the pain you are experiencing, or the pain of other loved ones who experienced Rehtaeh. It means nothing compared to your loss, but I send you my deepest condolences.

Without yet having this insight into who she was, I wrote something about this horrific tragedy. Something far too long to be “acceptable” or taken note of in the social media sense. It will probably be read by very few because of its length, which is actually relevant to its contents, and I would hypothesize, to this tragedy itself.

From a distance, know your family is loved. Know that I ache for justice in this instance and on a larger scale. The fact that this can happen is so supremely unacceptable, and systemic change needs to happen.

Natalie April 11, 2013 - 3:17 am


Before exposure to this beautiful window into the person who was your daughter, I heard a radio interview with her mother. My heart broke as I listened, and I didn’t even know her and don’t know you. No one can fathom the pain you are experiencing, or the pain of other loved ones who experienced Rehtaeh. It means nothing compared to your loss, but I send you my deepest condolences.

Without yet having this insight into who she was, I wrote something about this horrific tragedy. Something far too long to be “acceptable” or taken note of in the social media sense. It will probably be read by very few because of its length, which is actually relevant to its contents, and I would hypothesize, to this tragedy itself.

From a distance, know your family is loved. Know that I ache for justice in this instance and on a larger scale. The fact that this can happen is so supremely unacceptable, and systemic change needs to happen.

Thank you for this writing.

‘She meant everything to me’: Father writes of teen’s suicide – World Latest News April 11, 2013 - 3:23 am

[…] Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parsons, posted the statement Wednesday, saying he doesn’t want his daughter to be remembered for her suicide or the alleged […]

Garrett April 11, 2013 - 3:32 am

My deepest condolences. May God grant you peace.

I want to give your whole family a big hug. I wish I’d known Rehtaeh and had given her a big hug too and told her, “it gets better.” But, I know that some wrongs can not so easily be set right.

After many years of school, I’m setting out to begin my career. I admit I am anxious about the burden of becoming a father. I use the word `burden’ to signal that I don’t get what it means to be a parent, and I realize that. Your love for your beautiful daughter awakens in me the possibility of a dimension of love so boundless that it transcends hardship and even loss. I hope one day that I can be so fortunate to have my son or daughter teach me with their example, make me laugh, and tell me that they love me. Thank you for sharing the blessing of your daughter with us.

Teen killed herself after alleged sexual assault no charges Halifax - Page 4 - Vancouver's Top Classifieds and Automotive Forum - April 11, 2013 - 3:33 am

[…] been posted, did a brief ctrl+f search and didn't see it so here it is: his is a post from the blog of Glen Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons’s father, in response to media inquiries about his daughter’s death. […]

Lynn April 11, 2013 - 3:33 am

your comment “she wasn’t bullied to death”… so sadly echoes what my mind has been screaming…..
Where were the adults?
Where were the authorities?
After this horror occurred (possibly with some drinks/ and was something put in her drink?)… where was the investigation?
When horrors like this occur the Adults and the Legal System is supposed to act – act quickly – act seriously – They Seemed to NOT have.

I am sorry.

I am not any part of the “system”, but it seems to me that someone should tell your daughter / someone should tell you / her mother / her loved ones…

I am sorry.

Lu April 11, 2013 - 3:37 am

Dear Mr. Canning, I am very saddened by your words that were expressed through your aching heart. As a parent, I’ve read your words with my tears. I am so sorry for the pain that you feel. I am sad that those who were around your beautiful daughter Rehtaeh whether human or animals can no longer benefit from the love she lavished them with. The memory you shared with us of you and your daughter at the movie theatre as a child shows us how her heart was always invested in someone else’s well-being. She knew that sharing her heart with others also made them live and thrive. It also discusses me about what has happened to your family in regards to the lack of follow through in applying the laws for the crimes that were committed. “Why” is the big question that I hope people who knew her will think about. There are alot of questions, answers and applications of the law that need to be asked and applied by people who make a conscious decision to follow through when laws are broken. Those who have done harm in whatever way will now have to live with their actions. I hope justice comes knocking at their door. I wish I could offer you or Rehteah’s mother some comforting words…I send you hugs and thank you for sharing your words and Rehteah’s beautiful spirit with us.

Jen April 11, 2013 - 3:42 am

I am so sorry for your loss. She will always be with you to brighten your day. The world can be a cruel place where people forget what “good” actually is, and I hope we can come together to fight for it. I feel as though this could have been avoided, and I’m sure this is what makes it hard for you and everyone else who has gone through something like this. But we all must stay strong and fight against the wrong in life. She sounded beautiful, and not just on the outside. May she finally be at peace.

Ryan April 11, 2013 - 3:42 am

Glen, the grace and courage with which you are dealing with your heartbreaking tragedy is truly remarkable. You are honouring her life beautifully, and I am a better father for you having shared your experience. The country mourns your your loss and shares your frustrations. My heart is with you.

Debbie Stahlbaum April 11, 2013 - 3:45 am

Hugs, hugs wow yes my best friend was bullied and raped back in 1978 i tried to help her but at least i was with her to help run from the bulllying!! i will never forget those people and am still not sure if she put herself in front of the train that killed her i am sorry about sharing this with you! I feel close to your daughter though, the only thing that ever really helped me was hugs from good people!! Wish this world would be kinder they were just jealous of her beauty inside and out! This must stop and justice should be there for your family!! HUGSS

Debbie Atterton April 11, 2013 - 4:02 am

Please hold all of the good memories in your heart, I know that is all I can do! Peace to You!

Christine April 11, 2013 - 3:46 am

Such an eloquent and heartbreaking tribute to your beautiful beloved daughter Rehtaeh. What a giving girl she was in her life and even in her death. Thank you for sharing her touching story. I only pray that those who tormented her will read this and see the terrible price their deeds have wrought.
My heart breaks for you and your family and I am so very sorry for your loss.

Darcy Fuchs April 11, 2013 - 3:52 am

My heart was filled with sorrow when I read of your tragic loss. I myself was a victim of harassment and bullying as well my older son came very close to making the same decision. I think it is very admirable that you want her to be remembered by the good she brought to the world and not what she had to endure while in it. It is clear you are a great dad.
Prayers of many people from all over are with you in our time of sorrow and pain

Maria April 11, 2013 - 3:54 am

So sad, may God give you the strength to go on with your life. You have to be a mother to understand the pain you and your husband are going through
no words of comfort will do any good, please take comfort in knowing that my and those other people are praying for you guys. Thank you for sharing.

Jack and Heather Kelly April 11, 2013 - 3:56 am

We are so sorry for your loss of such a beautiful angel as your daughter and hope and pray that you find comfort in the coming days knowing that she is in God’s hands now. She had such a beautiful spirit. Peace be with you and your family, Glenn.

halebyrd April 11, 2013 - 4:06 am

i have been outraged by this story and deeply touched by the giving nature of your daugther… sincere heartfelt condolences….it breaks my heart. i hope you find the strength to carry on for Rehteah and seek justice and find some peace for you and your family………

John April 11, 2013 - 4:09 am

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King

John April 11, 2013 - 4:09 am

This is how vigilante action begins. And I support it. Our “justice” system has failed. Completely. Rapists like those who hurt and ultimately killed this beautiful girl deserve to die. Slowly. That brings the ONLY closure possible. Amen.

mardi terrasson April 11, 2013 - 4:13 am

Im so sorry for your loss, and I thank you for having the heart and courage to share your beautiful daughter and this most intimate story. Everyone in the world is watching and crying with you. Let your beautiful daughter be the face for change.Let the world see how special she is. We are all with you at this time. We shall never forget her.

Kim Daigle April 11, 2013 - 4:22 am

I can appreciate your pain. I have questioned these rules many times myself!!! please keep fighting!!!

Mike April 11, 2013 - 4:31 am

Mr. Canning, please accept my deepest condolences! My heart bleeds for you and your beautiful daughter! I’ve never made a comment to anything online but your story touched me and I had to reach out. Ill pray for you and your family.
Things need to change, when will this stop

Rehtaeh Parson suicide: Anonymous threatens to out boys involved in rape | Canada | News | National Post April 11, 2013 - 4:35 am

[…] a blog post dedicated to his daughter, Glen Canning recalls a girl who loved animals and had a big […]

Marcel April 11, 2013 - 4:44 am

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family for your loss.

As a father I can only begin to fathom your grief or your outrage. To watch your daughter, who clearly had such a big heart, devastated by the initial crimes must have been heart wrenching. To try to help her to work through the aftermath only to deal with incompetence and indifference from the justice system must have been infuriating.

Too often in this country the justice system lets victims down and good people are left to try to pick up the pieces. It is my hope that in death Rehteah and your family will find the justice that was denied during her life. It is also my hope that in this country criminals and rapists know that they will be held to account for their actions and punished appropriately.

Marcel Proulx

AP formerly of Halifax April 11, 2013 - 4:46 am

Mr. Canning: This is such a horrific terrible loss, your beautiful young daughter tormented by boys who have committed evil. If possible, try and gather those who can give you help you bring those boys to court. They cannot get away with this and must be held accountable for their actions. They are not innocent kids but teens with very very twisted minds. If they are not brought up on charges who will be the next victim?
So please, mourn your daughter and grieve and then gather those who will go with you and get justice.

Rehtaeh Parsons was my daughter | kimmiecats April 11, 2013 - 5:03 am

[…] Rehtaeh Parsons was my daughter. […]

Iain April 11, 2013 - 5:06 am

How you found the strength not to search those bastards out and throttle them escapes me. As a father of a daughter myself, I don’t know if I could stop myself.

Adnan April 11, 2013 - 5:14 am

Dear Mr. Canning, first of all I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t pretend to know how you feel but Rae was obviously a wonderful young lady and when I read your post about her I thought about all the lovely people that I know that remind me of her. People who love animals and care about everything in life. It also struck me that it’s not really surprising to me that the RCMP didn’t take this case seriously given that they have trouble with sexual assault allegations within their own ranks. I promise you that will change. We stand behind you 100% and the online petitions are just the beginning. There needs to be a culture change and that includes the attitudes of police, politicians and the adults in the community – not just the school kids.
Once again Rae was obviously a lovely young lady and she will be remembered for being the sweet person that she was.

A Father April 11, 2013 - 5:18 am

May the good memories of your treasured daughter turn your moaning into gladness. Her body may be dead. But her spirit isn’t. Know that. Don’t moan her death. Instead, rejoice with her spirit.

May God bless you guys.

Pia Maria Magalona April 11, 2013 - 5:21 am

Pls accept my deepest condolences. You had a very beautiful daughter in Rehtaeh and your tribute to her has touched my very soul and left me heartbroken and speechless. I just wish for you to find peace in due time. Love will always conquer evil.

Bonnie April 11, 2013 - 5:22 am

Mr. Canning and Ms. Parsons

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful, loving, and thoughtfull daughter. Even in death she was thinking of others. Rehteah was and always will be an Angel to so many with the gift of life by donating her organs. Some day when the pain dulls a little, remember the terrific job you did raising this young woman. As parents everywhere read your tribute to your daughter they may go away with some thought as to how important it is to be involved in their childrens life, to teach them to be kind and thoughtful to others. This young woman endured more than any child should have to. To be raped and then bullied because of 4 young men who have no soul, thought for others and think they can do and get away with whatever they want. I know family and friends who have lost children and it is the most devastating thing any parent could ever suffer. When you look at Rehteah’s pictures you can see how beautiful she is inside and out (ie when she was holding and playing with the young children, hugging both of you and how she loved and played with all of her different pets).

Bullying is something that leaves a lasting scar on the heart and soul of the victim, that persons loved ones and friends . Unfortunately it also happens in the work place and sporting events. You would think that as adults they would realize how wrong and damaging this is to another human being.

Our laws have to change so that the victim is the one with the rights not the criminal. Unfortunately the police are often blamed for charges not being laid, when in fact it is the way our laws are written and have to be changed.

If these 4 young men are not charged and brought to justice, will they do this again because there are no consequences to their actions?

I hope and pray that whoever supplied the alcohol to these young underage children are charged with every offence that can be associated to this tragic, horrific loss. Where was the adult supervision for this party?

I hope that justice can be found for Rehteah, both of you and all the people that love and miss your beautiful daughter.

Rest in peace Rehteah.

Veronica N. April 11, 2013 - 5:29 am

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful piece about your extraordinary much-loved daughter…

Joan Murphy April 11, 2013 - 5:31 am

Your words of love and devotion to your daughter has brought me to tears. No one should have to go through what she did and then be disrespected all over again. Your families decision to donate her organs was amazing. After the sorrow you have all endured over the last 18 months cannot be forgotten but knowing that your daughter has saved so many people and their families from the pain and suffering their loved ones are going through will bring you comfort. Please know you and your family are not alone in this, just wish the same could have been said for your daughter. I hoping some type of justice is found and maybe this may not happen to someone else child. Please know she will always be with you, look to the rising sun for the strength to get through the day and glance to the setting sun for the hug and comfort of knowing she is safe and one day you will be together again.

Tiina Heikkinen April 11, 2013 - 5:39 am


I have always had a good image about Canadians, but this case is just wrong, sad and utterly cruel. It’s awful to read how people in that school were “blind” about this kind of situation? Were these boys popular in that school, so popular, that others just followed them blindly without any evaluation in their minds that what they did was humanly wrong? just unbelievable shameful for them. And from news i kind of took this kind of image that police could not do anything for the justice? I just can’t believe that! Even if this unfortunate community was “blinded” .. the love from the rest of the world comes to your daughter and the family. And there is justice. Hope I don’t have to read about these kind of things anymore about your country.

My deepest sympathy and all the strenght,
Tiina Heikkinen, Finland

Sarah April 11, 2013 - 6:00 am

What kind of world are we living in? Words can not express my deepest sympathies to you and your family. May you rest peacefully now Rehtaeh without heartache and pain.

Enid Melanie April 11, 2013 - 6:35 am

Dear Glen, there is nothing I can say. My husband Glenn and I have a 4-year-old son and an almost 3-year-old daughter Lillian. One mustn’t forget to cherish every moment. One can never know when it will end. That’s all we can do and that’s what you did. I hope you can find consolation in the memory of 17 beautiful years.

Greg April 11, 2013 - 6:39 am

My heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with you! Please remain hopeful.

OneWhoKnows April 11, 2013 - 6:48 am

Hi Glenn
I know all about the system you and Rehtaeh were facing… I too faced a similar outcome with a loved one and received the same response… they didn’t want to get involved. There is no “justice” in the Dept. of Justice. And, regardless of your love for your daughter, nor mine for my loved one, they might “ruin” someone else’s life! God forbid!

But, you are right. To chase this through the system would be a “rape” by the system.; once again victimizing the one truly wronged in the first place. I feel with you man and wish you all the best in dealing with the nightmare you now live in…

S. S. April 11, 2013 - 6:58 am

I struggled in private for 17 years to survive a not so dissimilar and devastating attack. I can’t imagine beings so young and having to survive that in a digital age. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for her. My heart breaks for you. My heart breaks for our society that lost its compassion and soul and cannot stand up for what is right any more. Bless you. I am so so sorry.

Shonna April 11, 2013 - 6:59 am

Mr. Canning, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine, I will pray for you and your family. Rehtaeh is a BBB=Brave, Brilliant and Beautiful and her life will not be lost in vain. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for communicating with the world the way you have through your immense pain and suffering right now. I agree with you that you must pursue the Justice System for Rehtaeh. I was wondering if you have thought of starting a Foundation in Rehtaeh’s name and in her honour. I will continue to pray for you and your family and am very proud of you for what you are doing now for your Amazing Daughter and for the Amazing Father you are. Sincerely Shonna

Terry April 11, 2013 - 7:00 am

The whole world is mourning with you right now. Thank you for sharing your words with us. Please stay strong.

Terri April 11, 2013 - 7:04 am

Dear Glen, I did not know your daughter, but my heart is broken. I’m infuriated that while India is trying to bring laws into effect to combat gang rapes in their country, we seem to be encouraging it in ours; and I’m distraught that the boys who started this, and the others that spread the photos, are also children of our society. What in God’s name are we doing to our children??!! I cry real tears right now. Tears of sorrow and of pain for children that aren’t even mine. God help us please, we are failing our youth.

Lorne in Halifax April 11, 2013 - 7:13 am

In January of this year my daughter, Robin, jumped off the MacDonald bridge. I loved and cared for her they way you did for your Girl. I truly understand the pain and grief that You as her Father are living through.

Wade.C.Newcombe April 11, 2013 - 7:15 am

I sit here this morning having my morning coffee and I read your story. I am not a parent but all I can say is I had tears running down my face. May your beautiful daughter find the peace she so needed. May her family find peace knowing she is in the arms of God. May the ones who destroyed her life pay. And if not on this earth surely when their own lives comes to a end they shall be judged by a higher court God. Your beautiful daughter saved four lives. Her parents were a big part of that. In doing so as hard as it must have been the greatest gift of all was giving by Rebecca and her family LIFE to others. Also know that so many others care and feel your pain right along with you in your loss of your beautiful daughter. God bless you all..

Cynthia April 11, 2013 - 7:23 am

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. I am sorry for her loss of innocence from those animals, and heartbroken for her and your family’s loss of trust….trust in our police and justice system that those monsters will be held accountable for their actions. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Brenda April 11, 2013 - 7:29 am

Please know that others share your grief and are intimately aware of the injustice in our so called “justice system”.

The criminals all have their rights. We, it appears, only have our “lefts” and would be behind bars in an instant if we used them…!

Isabelle April 11, 2013 - 7:36 am

Thank you for sharing your story. We are all mourning the passing of your beautiful daughter. I also believe in karma. Keep the Faith. We are many with you.

Miriam Rostek April 11, 2013 - 7:38 am

So very sorry for your loss . May she R.I.P .

“I feel like I’m dead inside”: Rehteah’s father | April 11, 2013 - 7:52 am

[…] until yesterday, Canning posted a blog called “Rehteah Parsons was my […]

William hoggarth April 11, 2013 - 7:54 am

I would like to say I am so sorry for your loss , and for the injustice that has been done for not having those 4 boys accountable for what they did it is inconceivable and the Justice Minister should be ashamed and we as Citizens of Canada should be ashamed! This is happening much to often and these punks sit back and laugh this has to end now and we should DEMAND JUSTICE! My thoughts & prayers go out to you and your Family at this difficult time! I Pray Justice will Prevail!

Andrea Blake April 11, 2013 - 8:05 am

When one parent reads of another’s loss, the heart cramps, empathy strangles and tears choke, but I cannot say I know how they feel. I don’t even know how I would feel were I to be faced with such loss. What I can do is offer a prayer that your healing will continue and something positive may come from such utter senselessness. You don’t mourn alone, Glen. Many hearts are with you and your family. May the sharing of grief lessen your family’s. Peace to you all.

PATRICIA DOBSON April 11, 2013 - 8:06 am

Mr Canning. My heart, my tears go out to you and your family and my prayers go out to Almighty God, the giver and sustainer of life. I pray that your family will in some way heal and find a NEW NORMAL – a new way to live without your precious girl in this physical life. You will all see her again in a better place, at a better time. Those boys will get what’s coming to them. God will see to it. I am praying that God will impress upon them what they have done and the fall out of their actions, which is so sad, it is beyond words. Collectively, it is so easy to let our anger get the better of us, which takes energy to keep it going. I’m also praying that good things will come out of this whole tragedy and as I have heard that has happened already. Let that continue, for if we let our anger take over, we will become what we despise.
I know these are just words and to understand the pain and suffering you and your family are going through, one must go through it themselves.

Cal April 11, 2013 - 8:12 am

My heart go out to you, so sorry, so sad.

Cathy April 11, 2013 - 8:16 am

To Glenn, I send you heart felt condolences.

To Everyone Else:
Once again we wait until tragedy hits , until a innocent soul is pushed so hard that the only avenue she believes she has to quiet the pain is death.
Why Why WHY …do we all let this happen.
We are only now hearing about this after the death of this lovely young lady …..why couldn’t we have known about this rape and bullying 18 months ago.
When we hear about this happening in our communities we need to stand up and not wait until tragedy hits before we become united. We need our voices to become one and then we can make a difference!
Next time …and we all know there will be a next time, we need to get involved before the death of a beautiful wonderful young innocent person is gone again.

Derek in NS April 11, 2013 - 8:27 am

Words cannot describe how saddened I am by this story, especially after hearing these words from you. I cannot begin to imagine the greif you must feel as I haven’t lost a child. But as a father of 2, I can relate to the bond between you and your daughter. It is a connection that trancends any words or description. I’m not even sure what I should be writing here as there are no words I can use that will assuage the pain and greif you are experiencing. But I do want you to know that my heart is with you and your family during this difficult time. Thank you for writing these words. As painful as it must have been to write them, we are all better off knowing how beautiful of a person Rehteah was.

Ken April 11, 2013 - 8:41 am

Glen, Please accept my deepest condolensces as you mourn the loss of your daughter. As I read your statement, a song keptcircling in my head. i want to share it with you.

go to iTunes and download the song Welcome Home by Michael W. Smith.

May you find peace and healing.


Stephen April 11, 2013 - 8:41 am

There is a site on facebook called “grieving fathers”. I found it helped a small amount. I lost my 19 year old boy 3 years ago. May you some day find peace.

Wendy April 11, 2013 - 8:51 am

So sorry for your loss it is the worst thing that could happen to a family to loose a child in this way. As a parent we hurt with them and feel the stresses they go through I am so sorry your family had to endure that. The worst part about this is a beautiful girl lost her life to these bullies, rapist and they walk away. I pray for justice for your family! I pray that you will continue your fight and know that Rehtaeh is watching over you and guiding you.
I am so sorry for your loss. 🙁

Linda April 11, 2013 - 9:05 am

I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot describe in any way how I feel reading your letter nor can they bring you the serenity you need. It takes tremendous courage to write about someone’s loss, let alone when it is your own child’s loss. I am still crying writing this.
I talked about your daughter to my students today and send them the link hoping that they will learn and change things for themselves and other girls around them.
I hope you find serenity and solace knowing that your daughter still lives through the gift of life that she gave to others. She is an angel. Courage et toutes mes condoleances.

Jerry April 11, 2013 - 9:12 am

Our prayers and deepest sympathies for you and family.

Sherry April 11, 2013 - 9:15 am

Such a tragic loss my heart goes out to you and your family .

Laura April 11, 2013 - 9:15 am

I am so sorry for your loss, I am crying here at work trying to hold back my tears but cant. I cant amagine how you are feeling. I am praying for you and your family,

Michelle from St. Johns April 11, 2013 - 9:41 am

I am not only at a loss for words, but also I am at a loss for comprehension for what you and your family are going through and also the lack of accountability the police, and justice system had. You are right Rehteah was all our daughter, sister, mother. When do we demand more of ourselves? When do we demand more of our judicial system, when do we deman more of our police force? When is enough, enough?

douglas April 11, 2013 - 9:50 am

my prayers (and tears) are with you, your family and Rehtaeh.

Eternal rest, grant unto Rehtaeh O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May Rehtaeh rest in peace. Amen.

Ryan Keddy April 11, 2013 - 9:59 am

I can’t even begin to understand how you feel, nor will I even try. I am truly touched by your families strength and determination to stop something like this from happening again. I hope that our justice system here in Halifax will hold true to its word and protect and serve the people. This completely floors me, to think that kids can do this and get away with it.

I am hoping that the Police, Government and Justice System can restore the public’s faith in them, by doing what should have been done over a year ago. It kills me to think that the loss of your daughter was the trigger needed to start the process that should have been done properly in the first place. On top of that its sad to think that public humiliation on a global scale is what was needed for them to do their job.

I want to thank you for sharing this with the world. I hope that this is the story that shows up when people search for Rehtaeh’s name. Your community, city, province, country and beyond are behind you and your family.

stephen barney April 11, 2013 - 10:00 am

My sincere thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. The failure of the RCMP in this instance is reprehensible. I guarantee if that had been one of their daughters, justice would have been swift. When those entrusted to protect and defend the defenseless fail, they should be investigated and punished at the fullest extent of the law. Their statements to this point have been lies. Go Anonymous! Shine the bright light of truth on those cowards.

Phil Vogler April 11, 2013 - 10:16 am

Glenn – my heart goes out to you and your family. I find it very hard to express the sadness that I feel. You obviously loved your daughter with all of your heart – your being. I am the father of three children, stay strong my friend.

Hendrick Nicolajsen April 11, 2013 - 10:17 am

Glen, this really hits close to home for me. My teenage daughter, who we adopted 3 years ago, has been cyberbullied in a graphic way, and this happened while she’s currently in the hospital. I haven’t heard from the schools or the police about what’s being done, in spite of the digital trail of evidence. I am afraid for her when she gets out, and that nothing will be done in the end. I am so sorry for your loss. The love between a father and his daughter is precious, and it sounds like you will carry a lot of wonderful memories of your beautiful girl. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family in your time of loss. God bless.

Iain Mallory April 11, 2013 - 10:23 am

Thank you for sharing your feelings and providing such a moving tribute to your daughter and portrait of a lovely young person.

It is an indictment of our society that this could happen probably almost anywhere not just Canada. That the justice and educational systems let down this young woman who was in fact still a child when the crime was committed is a travesty.

If it appeared in a soap opera or film we’d disregard it sensationalist fiction that couldn’t possibly happen. It has happened and does happen, it needs to be stopped right now, Nova Scotia should make a stand It’s actions to date in handling this sorry crime have been shameful but it is not too late to make the right choices and punish those responsible. They not only committed a senseless and reprehensible act but seemed to understand they’d be above punishment. They continued to torment and prolong your daughters suffering long after the actual incident for their own amusement. That the authorites continued to take no action is beyond belief. We should all feel shame that this could have occurred, it is time we did something to prevent a reoccurence of this awful crime.

Every decent person is behind you and your family, sorry for your devastating loss and hoping that justice will at least be served so that Rehtaeh can rest in peace.

Susan April 11, 2013 - 10:35 am

Please accept my condolences on your family’s loss. What happened to your daughter has brought tears to my eyes and made me angry to read about what happened to her and what Rehteah had to put up with. I do hope and pray that your family will find justice. Thank you for sharing your memories and love you have of your daughter Rehteah.

Thomas Griffin April 11, 2013 - 10:40 am


I read your blog here while my 3 year old daughter sits beside me and eats her cereal so graciously. I consider her my best friend already so my emotions run deep for you. I can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak you feel for the loss of your beautiful daughter. I honestly hope and pray that justice will come and come fast!!! Your family and most of all daughter have waited long enough! Be strong as I know you are and as each day goes by look up and you’ll see her smiling again.

Take Care and thinking of you from Cardinal, ON

Thomas Griffin

Gordon April 11, 2013 - 10:42 am

Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your daughter.
I’m so angry as I write this! Where are the Police, when all the evidence is in print,with photos,& on the internet.
The email addresses can be tracked to the one who distributed the photo’s. The crime here is contributing to your daughter’s death.
Where is the Minister of Justice? Hiding behind the Police force of which he was a member.
The cover up is in full force and going forward. There are dark forces at work here.It is baffling that no investigation was implemented, with all the evidence available.
Those boys will get whats coming to them. Without a doubt someone who knows who they are, will publish their names and thats when retribution will take place.
We shall remember you and your daughter in our prayers

Terralynn Trask April 11, 2013 - 10:46 am

You are a beautifully compassionate father. She was incredibly fortunate to have you in her life for as long as she did. My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time.

May her beautiful legacy live on.

Mike Rogers April 11, 2013 - 10:46 am

Justice – what does it mean to you?

A beautiful young women full of promise with a whole life ahead of her took her own life out of despair, hopelessness, fear and shame. Her name was Rehtaeh Parsons.

18 months ago she was raped and abused by young men she knew, in a community that she was familiar with and in a situation that we are all familiar with.

A house party.

A place familiar to all of us where friends are supposed to get together to unwind, tell stories, push off the stress of the weeks business with music, dancing and comraderie.

But the party she was at wasn’t that kind of party. It was a gathering of friends to be sure, but amongst the fellowship there were monsters hiding in plain sight.

She drank a little vodka, perhaps a little too much and instead of looking after her they took advantage of her. And then they raped her. The took their turns joking, cajoling and humiliating her. Then they took pictures of her. They made a trophy of her.

They dehumanized her, ridiculed her and mocked her.

They betrayed her.

Everyone in that residence that night is guilty of that.

Guilty of indiference. Guilty of apathy. Guilty of neglect.

When the effect this had on her became obvious to her family and friends she was finally compelled to speak up about what she had experienced upon finding pictures of herself displayed on the internet. She couldn’t hide her humiliation or pain anymore. She went to those she trusted to help. What did they do?


The school board did nothing. The community did nothing. The police did nothing.

They are all guilty. All of them. Anyone in a position or with a responsibility to do something about it are guilty. In a way they are accessories.

They dehumanized her, ridiculed her and mocked her.

They betrayed her.

Guilty of indifference. Guilty of apathy. Guilty of neglect.

She saw the world as it is. A world with real monsters and the ones responsible for protecting her from them are cowards. The ones responsible to punish the monsters are cowards. They are guilty of incompetence.

They betrayed her. And they betrayed us.

Guilty of indifference. Guilty of apathy. Guilty of neglect.

I hear talk of Anonymous getting involved in this situation.

Finally some action. Finally some traction. Finally some concern and some real resolve to get this situation the attention it deserved from the beginning.

Do I believe in the cause of Anonymous? Yes I do.

I believe it because a group of moral and ethical people have the power to track down and identify monsters in our midst while sitting behind a laptop. What’s that cost? 500$ and an internet connection. All they needed was willpower.

Make no mistake. The ones who need a good shaming aren’t the monsters in this crime. It is those who rest comfortably in positions of power with million dollar budgets and all the resources of government at their disposal. What they lack with all those resources is – willpower. The simple will to act on behalf of those that can’t. For this the so-called authorities are now exposed as incompetents.

Well folks, those are your tax dollars at work. You paid for this spectacle. The RCMP received an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012. How do you feel about it?

How do you feel that a couple of teenagers on the other side of the world with laptops were able to do in 2 hours what the RCMP with hundreds of millions in resources along with all the manpower it has at it’s disposal can’t do in almost 2 years?

Do I wish to see some sort of vigilante justice against those responsible for Rehtaehs’ abuse and rape?

No, vigilanteism isn’t justice – it’s mob rule and nothing but pure vengeance. If Rehtaehs’ family wanted that I’m sure her father and his friends would have already done that.

What we are looking for is accountability from those we trusted to protect Rehtaeh and others like her.
We are talking about the school counselors, the principal, the lead investigators, the Minister of Justice, the prosecutors – all of you. You know who you are.

Anyone who was in a position to bring justice to Rehtaehs’ case – just remember:

You are guilty of indifference. You are guilty of apathy. You are guilty of neglect.

Do the reputation and our confidence of your respected offices a favour – RESIGN!

Just leave. It isn’t hard. Just do what you do everyday with our tax dollars:

Don’t think. Don’t act – just turn your backs and look away.

We all deserve more than from all of you than we’ve gotten and no one knows it more than Rehtaeh and her family.

Make a difference in your communities today and start looking for new jobs, then we might be able to respect you for finally doing the right thing.

P.S. To the families of the boys responsible for this brutality: I find it unfathomable that you are not aware of your childrens’ crimes at this point. If you truly love your children, do them and your community a favour and bring them into a police station this afternoon and have them charged yourselves. Have the courage and willpower to do what all these so-called professionals are incapable of – BRING JUSTICE TO REHTAEH AND HER FAMILY.

Love, rage and protecting our girls | Queer Femme Mama April 11, 2013 - 10:57 am

[…] same one as the Gatineau shooting. A young woman was sexually assaulted. She went to the police. Her parents stood behind her and supported her. She was brave enough to tell her story. And no one else believed her. No one did […]

sp April 11, 2013 - 10:57 am

I wish you peace. this is heartbreaking and you are right – she could be my daughter. i wish your daughter peace.

George in Ontario April 11, 2013 - 11:07 am

My heart is broken after reading your words. I can neither imagine, nor bear to imagine your deep sorrow and pain. Like others, I can’t think of anything fitting to say, except thank you for telling the world about your little girl.

maryann carrigan April 11, 2013 - 11:16 am

All I can say is that the so called “men” should be held accountable for their actions and get the fullest sentence the law has for this hainis crime, the most horrible part is that this beautiful young woman’s life was cut too short. My heartfelt condolences to the family, stay strong and live on and carry her memory forever!

Rehtaeh Parsons suicide: Anonymous issues new cryptic warning | Canada | News | National Post April 11, 2013 - 11:23 am

[…] for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime?” he wrote. “What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t […]

Sheila April 11, 2013 - 11:29 am

We lost our daughter to illness 13 yrs ago and it was the hardest , most painful thing we have ever dealt with ….I have wept for your family since I heard this story on Monday and underneath my tears is a raging anger that this can happen to someone so beautiful and precious. I can only imagine the pain you are dealing with .
My prayers and thoughts are with your family .

Emily April 11, 2013 - 11:34 am

stay brave and strong. god bless you.

Kay Olson April 11, 2013 - 11:42 am

My most heartfelt sympathy goes out to you in your sorrow. What a sad, sad story……… Praying God will help you through this difficult time.

Holly Crighton April 11, 2013 - 11:46 am

This is the most beautiful and absolute devastating thing I have heard in a long time. My heart aches for you Glen, which I can only imagine is a fraction of how much yours aches. As a young mother of 2 beautiful children (18 months and 10 weeks) I can not fathom the hurt and anger you must be feeling. I get upset just when my daughter falls and bumps her head, I don’t think I could recover from something as devastating as what you are going through, which shows you truly are a strong man. As for our justice system, I always had faith in the Canadian justice system, which comfort me in a way, knowing what a wonderful country my kids are blessed to be a part of, but Rahteah’s story and the lack of help they gave her, and how nonchalant they went about the situation has deterred my faith in the ones who are PAID to protect us, if not entirely distinguished it. As for the monsters (and that’s putting it nicely) that did what they did, I hope their conscience eats them alive, and they live a miserable life of guilt, regret and torment. Your daughter sounded like a wonderful person, and it warms my heart in knowing her father seen that in her, and loved her for it. Be strong, and take care. My thoughts are with you and your family.

‘You have zero class’: Anonymous issues blistering attack on N.S. justice minister over lack of charges in Rehtaeh Parsons case | One Stop News Stand April 11, 2013 - 11:54 am

[…] for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime?” he wrote. “What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t […]

ryanfactura April 11, 2013 - 11:55 am

Love and prayers from Calgary, AB.

Jennifer April 11, 2013 - 11:55 am

Dear Mr. Canning
I have not experienced what you have. I feel deeply for what your family has and will continue to face. My husband and I read your letter early this morning. We have 2 young boys. If our boys ever made the choice to hurt someone, we would make sure they were held accountable. Our job as parents is to teach and support our children to grow into caring, respectful and responsible adults. Thank you for sharing your love for your daughter and letting us know how her beauty lives on in others. Sending much love and heartfelt condolences.

Melissa Sheridan April 11, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Thank you for showing me a glimpse of who your daughter really was. You are right, I googled her to read about her story but I came upon this and realized quickly that this is her story. She was a daughter, an animal lover, she was someone that could make her dad laugh and make a homeless person smile. When I hear things on the news of her, I will imagine instead a little girl standing on a chair in the cinema, caring for a flopping fish. She will be remembered for who she was, a girl with a big heart.

Dianne April 11, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Dear Glen, Your story is becoming all too familiar in the media. Your precious daughter was taken from this world by the disrespect we face today, by the cyber-bulling faced by today’s youth and the terrible, hurtful young people who can do these despicable things and feel nothing! The laws and humanity failed your daughter. The school failed your daughter and the very laws made to protect us failed – more often than we as a society are willing to admit. On this day, I am truly ashamed to be a human being! May you and your family love each other a little more today than yesterday and know there are literally hundreds of thousands of us who pray for your family and hope for changes in the system that failed you!

With heartfelt sincerity

clear and focused April 11, 2013 - 12:10 pm

Am I the only one who is able to read between the lines here? Consider this: a young woman you know gets raped… so the first reaction from everybody would naturally be to bully her, right?? Not sympathy for her, not justice for her, but bullying towards her, right?? It just doesn’t make sense. This is not a regular human response to rape – it doesn’t make sense and I don’t believe it for a second. What I do know for certain is that everything in the media these days is a lie and/ or spun in the direction of indoctrination. In fact, every media story that is published has an agenda to either indoctrinate, polarize, infuriate, or scare people so as to catch peoples attention and therefore generate sales. In this case, I suspect it was meant to infuriate people. Plain and simple… mission accomplished.

I was sitting with my girlfriend when we heard about this story, and her immediate reaction was sympathy. This is a natural reaction when you hear of someone getting raped… even when we don’t know the victim. This is natural. Bullying is not. Why is nobody making this connection? I agree kids have always been cruel, but even still, either every single person in her school is a sociopath, or we aren’t getting the whole story here.

I heard Leah Parsons’ interview on the radio yesterday and she kept referring to how her daughter “heard the snap of a camera when she was having sex with one of the boys”. If there really was a rape then Leah would have referred to it as such, and not referred to it as “sex”. I mean, really, who considers rape – sex??… especially the mother of the “victim”.

This is what it boils down to. As a society we are lost. We don’t pay attention to the real crimes that go on all around us. We allow politicians and officials to lie and cheat us, and then we go to them when we want justice??? What a sickening joke. Where was Leah Parsons on the night she allowed here 15 year old daughter to go to an all-night orgy with 4 boys and get so drunk that she was vomiting out a window?? What happened to the days when women respected themselves and their bodies – enough to know the consequences if they didn’t? Do you think it is a coincidence that single mothers now outnumber two parent households ever since the so-called “sexual revolution” or “women’s lib” movements??

All I can say is that our society is spiraling out of control, regardless of whether your head is buried too deep in the sand to notice. We have allowed our police to become irreparably militarized and unaccountable, and then you think they somehow didn’t want to pursue this case?? I don’t believe it for a second. The police love going after people. They could care less if they are innocent or guilty, they just enjoy the fight and would love nothing more than to incarcerate 4 young boys, regardless if they committed a crime or not.

In fact, if this young girl accused the police of raping her, and then she suffered bullying and harassment… well that I could believe, only because of how the hiring practices of the police forces have changed in recent decades in an attempt weed out normal people and to attract sociopaths with no conscience.

The fact is, if there was evidence a rape occurred then they would have thrown the book at every perpetrator involved… actually, evidence is probably one of the least important factors to these Gestapo squads… they would have thrown the book at them any way they could. The fact that they couldn’t tells me that they were lacking even the slightest legal leg to stand on; therefore, they weren’t able to pursue it. So don’t blame the police or justice system… blame the way we’ve allowed society to become the putrefied, gangrenous abomination that it has. The police and justice system are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

Look around you, we are all being raped by “authorities”… except, this rape is real and measurable.

Cathy April 12, 2013 - 12:56 pm

Are you kidding me??? Really???? You choose this forum and then you do not have the courage to sign your name. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not unless they are prepared to stand behind it. It would be more appropriate for you to send a letter to the editor of your local paper……. Oh, but that would not work, because you would have to sign your name and not hide behind a moniker. You have a right to express your thoughts but at the right time and in the right PLACE, and if you truly believe in what you are saying you should not need to hide behind a “handle” . Poor poor decision, Not So Clear and Focused

Scott Pearson April 11, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Hi Glenn,
As the father of a 5 year old this has really hit home. My utmost respect and warmest thoughts to you. I can feel the devastation in this post and in my own heart. I am angry and disappointed once again in our system.
For lack of better words, my deepest, most heartfelt and tear-filled sympathies. God bless Rehtaeh for being an organ donor so others may benefit.

Sunita April 11, 2013 - 12:13 pm

I am in tears and heart broken after reading about Rehtaeh.I have been through it and although at that time I was old enough and a mother,but to this day the whole experience breaks me each time I remember it.I fear for my daughter and I have become over protective for my children.I did help some victims like myself and with the help of my police team I was able to talk to home secretary in our country to change some laws in the court room.the law was changed as we requested and it was that victim has a right to ask for screen during the hearing.But nothing takes the pain and hurt away.I pray to God to give strength to you and your family and for Rehtaeh to RIP.No matter how much is done nothing can help to protect our little angels from this evil world that is what I believe.I will do everything to protect my daughter till I am with her but for doing that am I taking her independence away? What is more important to protect her or let her have independence? Because in today`s world both are not possible 🙁
God bless.

Erica G April 11, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Mr. Canning, to be honest, I held off as long as possible before clicking on one of the many links to your blog flying through my news feed. As predicted, my heart slammed into my chest, words blurred through the tears. Your grief is palpable and your sorrow beyond anything I could imagine. The love for your daughter, indisputable.

Though I am sure this offers little in the way of solace, your words have touched me deeply, particularly as I have two young daughters. I am so very sorry for your unthinkable loss. Thank you for speaking out and may you and Rehtaeh find peace.

May April 11, 2013 - 12:27 pm

Please know that the entire country is keeping you, your family and your daughter in our thoughts. Your daughter sounds like an incredible, empathetic woman who faced an incomprehensible amount of pain and was completely and utterly failed by the justice system. We talk to young women about rape and about other forms of sexual assault, etc. We need to educate our young men about rape too.

heather April 11, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Beautiful name…I am so sorry for your loss…and I do hope there are major repercussions… to you and your family…from another Heather…

j April 11, 2013 - 12:31 pm

As a mother of an unborn child, a girl child, not knowing what is ahead but feeling the urgent need to protect my child already, your story has touched me beyond words. The love you have for your daughter is the most special gift, thank you for sharing it with all of us. I am disgusted by the actions of those young men and I hope justice is served upon them. Yet I also think about all those who saw the photos, her classmates who didn’t support her after and they should also feel guilty as well. This society must change the way it views women and sexuality, I think that is what is at issue here and other stories similar to this coming out of India. I wish you much healing and I dearly hope for change.

Véronique April 11, 2013 - 12:33 pm

To Glenn, Leah, and everyone who was touched by Rehtaeh,
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.
To all Canadian people, let’s find a way to dismantle how social media is built right now. More responsality, less anonymity. This is a privilege, not a right.
To Canadian Law Makers: get off your pandas, your boxing match and do something for your people. Now.
To Reataeh, rest in peace beautiful girl

Renee Newell Boucher April 11, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Beautiful, heart breaking post. I pray for peace for you and Rehtaya. The world will benefit from her time here, she will be the catalyst for change. This is so wrong. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know so many share your grief, for the loss of a child who was disappointed by the system.

Diane Pitzel April 11, 2013 - 12:40 pm

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your daughter, Rehtaeh. I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that the media coverage will cause every parent and every person to demand change – in their schools, in their communities, and in the world. My heart aches for your loss.

I was moved by your comment that Rehtaeh is everyone’s daughter. As the mother of two sons, I promise that I will continue to teach the values of kindness and love to them.

Becki April 11, 2013 - 12:50 pm

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on everything your precious girl and your family have gone through. May her memory be eternal, and may it spur us to see that no other girl suffers in the way that she did. Thank you for sharing the beauty of her spirit with us.

Lisa April 11, 2013 - 12:52 pm

My heart is breaking for you. Your letter is so beautiful. Prayers to you and your family.
Rehtaeh, such a beautiful girl….such a wonderful daughter.

Adam Brooks April 11, 2013 - 1:00 pm

As a father of a young girl, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share your feelings. Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. Your beautiful daughter will be remembered, and we all pray that justice be done.

Marilo Nunez April 11, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Dear Mr. Canning. I am reading these words of yours, because someone posted your letter on Facebook. I haven’t been paying attention to the news lately, too involved in my own life to really listen/watch/search. But in the periphery of my life I heard something about a young girl being raped and bullied and dying. Nothing more. I am sorry that I didn’t pay more attention. I think we all need to pay more attention and realize that life is too short, too precious to worry about the big things. It’s the small things, moments that matter. Your daughter was a very special human being, even though I didn’t know a thing about her until now. Your loss is palpable and my heart, my heart goes out to you and your family. Why these things happen in our world is beyond belief. Nobody, nobody nobody deserves to die the way your daughter did. I thank you for sharing your beautiful moments with your daughter, with us, strangers in the stratosphere. I have to believe that there is human kindness and compassion above all things because then our civilizations would not have survived. You are a courageous and honourable man. Your daughter will live on in the memories and the words. Nothing else matters. I hope you will take this cyber hug from a woman who was very deeply touched by your words and the life of your beautiful daughter.

Sam April 11, 2013 - 1:08 pm

As a father of a beautiful young daughter myself, I can imagine no greater pain. I hope you survive this, under the same circumstances, I’m not sure I’d have the strength it takes.

Sarah Adams April 11, 2013 - 1:11 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss. Your daughter sounds like she was a wonderful young girl. My heart goes out to you and the rest of your family.

Rob April 11, 2013 - 1:13 pm

I just sent a fair and sincere e-mail to Mr Landry.

I encourage EVERYONE who reads this, to contact the Minister Of Justice for Nova Scotia (Mr Landry), and tell them this: “I hope this never happens to anyone in your family.” I was more elaborate than that, but you get the idea. It’s HIS leadership that needs to make things as right as they possibly can make them, past this point of no return.

(for the record, I am NOT being sarcastic about “I hope it doesn’t happen to your family.” I truly hope it doesn’t happen to them, as it would not only be devastating to their family, but any actions different than the lack of action they showed with this case would basically show everyone how badly they screwed up)

Brady April 11, 2013 - 1:14 pm

A deeply tragic but beautiful letter. The way you describe your daughter, I wish I had the pleasure of knowing her. As a man with a girlfriend, mother and sister, I am extremely concerned and have a lesser faith in the systems handling of violence towards women, rape as well as bullying. To say I hope those boys burn would be an understatement. But I digress, Rest In Peace beautiful Rehtaeh.

J April 11, 2013 - 1:14 pm

I am not just terribly sad, I am ANGRY. And you know what? I should be, and so should you, all of you, every last one of YOU. Why? Because we NEED this anger to push us forward and DO something. It is NOT enough to sit here and cry, because horrible, senseless things like this will keep happening until we ALL do something. Anything. I don’t even know what to do, or where to start, but I am not going to sit by and live in a country that views rape as a joke. Yes, she was his daughter, but, as he himself said, she was all our daughters. And this is how we treat them, this is how we allow things to go on. I’ve had personal experience with this, as I’m sure many of you have. We need to take our anger and transform it into energy and power to change things. And we also need to remember, as Glen said, that this beautiful girl was so much more than a poster-child for rape culture or bullying. Lets not remember her as only that. She sounds like she was so much more, and she deserves to be remembered as so much more. She was a whole person with a generous heart, so, please, let us all remember her as the whole person that she was.

Stacey Sigurdson April 11, 2013 - 1:15 pm

I believe your daughter was a pure soul. These are to be treasured. Honored even. When she said Just be a dad, she was saying Do something to make me feel safe. I don’t feel safe anymore. I want to trust, but I cannot any more. She could not stand to stay in such a painful place and chose to leave because she didn’t see any other way out of her painful situation. In times like this it is important to offer strength and courage that you will face this with them. Even though the act is over, the event lives in their minds for years tormenting them. They do not want to feel alone and scared. Sometimes though, nothing seems like enough for them and things like this happen. Know this was not to hurt you, but to make her feel better. She was not thinking with a clear mind, it had other things in it. The world can be a cruel place sometimes, but it is also filled with good and hope. Any good that come from bad is a blessing. I believe helping the other girl was good. Very hard to do, but good. She is so beautiful. I still believe she exists, even though she isn’t in her body any longer. I pray for peace for you and that you stay strong knowing you brought a gift into this world of your daughter, even if it wasn’t for as long as you wanted it to be. I am a mom and I know I would be totally mortified at this situation. I pray that in time you will heal. Stacey.

Diary of a Domestic Diva - Rehtaeh Parsons: Why you should never forget her name April 11, 2013 - 1:20 pm

[…] Of ignorance. Of blatant disregard for humanity. But I DO want you to read this heartwrenching blog post written by Glen Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons’ father. To US, the people. To the public. To the politicians. To the media. To the kids who did this to […]

MIke from Ottawa April 11, 2013 - 1:35 pm

Dear Glen,

Thank you for sharing what a beautiful person Rehteah was. This is the last thing I will read because that’s what I want to remember. Your story has touched me profoundly as a father of two wonderful kids. Like others, I am deeply saddened and enraged by your loss and can’t understand how this can still happen, in Canada, in 2013. “Justice” may be hollow but I truely believe that it will come to those that contributed to her pain. Eventually, if not already, perhaps when they have kids of their own, the court of “conscience” will pass judgement and their suffering will begin…and it will. In the meantime, take strenght in knowing that there are people who care, Rehteah’s spirit lives on in you and those who loved her. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Becca Young April 11, 2013 - 1:36 pm

I am so so so sorry that you had to write this beautiful testament to a life cut far too short. This is a reminder of the obligation on all of us to build a better world – the one your daughter deserved to live in. This is every father’s worst nightmare.

My heart and thoughts to you and your family.

Dragos Vana April 11, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Sign the Petition to bring justice for Rehtaeh:

Leita Petrie April 11, 2013 - 1:54 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss, she was a beautiful young lady that didn’t get the chance to live life to the fullest, because of our NS system. I can only imagine your pain, and my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I only wish we all could do something for you. Rest in Peace angel….
As the old saying is, what goes around comes around, and I hope that these boys will pay for what they did to her.

Liz McKinney April 11, 2013 - 2:09 pm

My God, I am crying so hard while selfishly thanking God My 21 yr old daughter Emma got through her bullied years in high school and thinking how incredibly tragic it is that Rehtaeh did not. What can we do to help change things?

blair April 11, 2013 - 2:22 pm

Dear Mr. parsons: I am a father of two young and healthy women, the sun and stars of my life, and who have managed to reach adulthood without being raped. My deepest sympathies go out to you. My hope is that these vile monsters are arrested and brought before the justice system, or what is left of it, and that they are convicted of murder. Even in New Delhi, India, perpertrators of rape are nailed in less than a week. What does that say about Canada? Again, my sympathies.

Michael Warnick April 11, 2013 - 2:24 pm

I work for the criminal justice system, and specifically with convicted sex offenders. I would like to apologize and tell you that I am sorry that the system has failed you and your daughter so far. It chokes me up inside to see that she felt no way out other than taking her own life. Hopefully, your post and posts by others will help pressure the authorities to actually do something. I am very sorry for your loss and can only imagine how heartbroken you are. I believe my email address will be shown to you somehow, and you have my permission to communicate with me if you would like.

Laureene myrtle Cloutier April 11, 2013 - 2:25 pm

As my tears flow down my face my heart breaks for you. I am at a lost for words to say to help your pain and loss, What I can say is.. that was a beautiful tribute to your daughter.I feel as if I knew her .I could feel your deep precious love for her come to life through your words.what a wonderful daughter you raised..I cant begin to ever imagine your pain…your loss. I wanted you too know I am with your family in prayer and love.I pray justice will come to your family as the justice system should hang their head in shame at the disgusting display of injustice.May the justice system make some serious changes because of this terrible senseless tragedy.Through the miles that seperate our families I send my love to Rahtaeh mother and sisters and to you. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your beautiful daughter and for sharing such a personal sacred side of you .. your new friends and supporters are here in spirit ,united and demanding justice.much love to you.

Bonnie Dixon April 11, 2013 - 2:25 pm

God Bless your family in Jesus Holy name I pray He Blesses you with strength to bear your loss and comfort in knowing she is with Jesus and in everlasting love….I am sorry for your loss and pain my dears…and will keep you all in prayer….if there is ANT thing I can offer to help …please feel free at Any time to message me ….even if you just need to talk I am here for you…In Jesus Holy name I pray abundant blessings of strength and comfort for you …Amne

Patricia April 11, 2013 - 2:33 pm

I have been so touched by the obvious loveliness of your darling girl, Rehtaeh, and I am so terribly sorry that she suffered such cruelty. I want to scream in anger at those who hurt her so badly. They will be punished later, I’m sure. My heart is broken for you and though I have never written anything on any sort of site, I had to tell you how profoundly saddened the loss of this child has made me.

Anne Marie Countie April 11, 2013 - 2:41 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss, so senseless and tragic. I am grateful for your words and insight, though, that she was “disappointed” to death. I relate to that, and in fact, that helps me see things a little more clearly too. In 1970 at age 10, I was sexually harassed and assaulted for months in school. No teacher, school official, medical person, nor law enforcement agency was able to help me. I still live with the scars, emotional and physical. One thing I have learned about bullies and aggressors, is that they are usually victims themselves, and they have learned to deal with their scars by lashing out against others. There may not be one solution that fits all with this issue, but I do believe that building strong emotional and spiritual health is a key factor in preventing or recovering from aggressive trauma. Additionally, society needs to weigh in and act, not turn blindly away when witnessing traumatic action. Unfortunately, the social consequences of “getting involved” are usually so prohibitive, that help is often withheld from those who need it. We live in a sick society, we must face that reality, and finally start working on healing ourselves. Otherwise, more generations of victims will continue to suffer needlessly and continuously. Prayers be with you, your family, and your daughter’s spirit.

Karla April 11, 2013 - 2:42 pm

This post paints a beautiful picture of what a wonderful and caring person your daughter was. Any of us would have been lucky to have known her. My heart goes out to you and your family. May Rehtaeh rest in peace.

Terry from Chicago April 11, 2013 - 2:45 pm


Words cannot adequately express how I feel. I am sitting here crying for you. My heart aches for you. I pray you will find peace amidst the chaos.

Chicago, Illinois
United States of America

Dan April 11, 2013 - 2:47 pm

The world mourns with you, Glen. Rehteah’s story has touched all who have come to know of it, and the eulogy that you have shared here is beautiful. I believe that her story will influence and change the world, and our communities, for the better. Be strong. Rehteah and the influence her story wields needs you. I hope and trust that you have a strong network of friends and family who will help you through this most difficult time. Take care, now and always.

Anonymous April 11, 2013 - 2:49 pm

Dear Glen,

You are so brave and seem like a wonderful father. I am so sorry for your loss. The people that did these horrible things will pay for their crime, if not today through the justice system, then one day God will punish their hateful actions. Keep faith and trust that your daughter’s life was not lost in vain and God willing she is at peace.

Meg April 11, 2013 - 3:12 pm

I’m sorry. No words can provide comfort, but I truly hope you know there are many that will keep Rehtaeh in our hearts. I only wish I had known her name before this. Many of us are failed by the system… I work every day not to climb a clock tower in greif for justice. I was bullied as a 14 year old, came an inch from being raped at 18. As another poster noted, it is time more women to stand up and speak to our experiences.

There are things that need to change. I hope that from your pain, the grief we all feel, for all victims of bullying, can create a change in our youth. Both, for those of us who always FEEL alone (even when we aren’t), and the ones who are alone (and end up lashing out).


These are the things we can still do. I know most of the time it’s hard to keep focus on these things when systemically things are so broken – but Rehtaeh deserves those things. Our society deserves those things.

Thank you for sharing your writing, and Rehtaeh with the world. I’m certain she made it brighter.

Moa April 11, 2013 - 3:14 pm

I wish there was something I could say that would end your pain. My heart is breaking for you and the rest of your family. What you wrote was wonderful and beautiful, as was your daughter. I am terribly sorry for your loss.

Dan April 11, 2013 - 3:17 pm

my family with be praying for you guys, sorry for your loss

GrahamForeverInMyHeart April 11, 2013 - 3:21 pm

I’m so very sorry about the suffering that your daughter was forced to endure. There are no words that can take away your pain.
I have added a link to this blog post to the website that I am curating in memory of my 23 year old son, who was killed 10 1/2 months ago. The website is for bereaved parents and siblings and consists of blogs, articles, videos, and anything else that might be helpful or meaningful for a bereaved family.
Unfortunately, if you look at the blogs I’ve included, you’ll find cases of other young people who took their lives as a result of bullying. It is a tragedy that needs to be taken very seriously.

Amy H April 11, 2013 - 3:47 pm

Words cannot express the feelings I have for you and your family about the loss of your beautiful, precious daughter. I cannot begin to understand what you are going through, but please know that the country (and beyond) mourns with you; your statement was correct: she is my daughter too. May her memory be for a blessing.

Leanne Sullivan April 11, 2013 - 3:51 pm

I am so so sad about this situation with this lovely little girl who had so much to live for and had so many people who loved her and wanted the best for her. My heart breaks for her parents. My heart hardens for the boys who raped her. My heart sickens when I think of the totally inadequate legal system – from the cops to the lawyers to the judges who completely failed this little girl and her family. Shame, shame, shame. I will walk to Nova Scotia to stand before a court to demand justice – in the name of Rehtaeh Parsons and every little girl/boy out there who have considered suicide in the name of bullying or a more serious occurrence such as this or has committed suicide because they just couldn’t live another day. Shame, shame, shame on the parents of these boys who didn’t demand their sons be brought to justice. No wonder their sons have no conscience and obviously have no shame.

Astrid M April 11, 2013 - 3:58 pm

From the bottom of my heart, my deepest condolences to you and your family at this time. Words just can’t express how sad this story makes me. Thank you for sharing this story of your beautiful daughter; her wonderful life will always be remembered.

I am so sorry for your loss, and will keep Raetaeh in my prayers.

Rick Jaacobucci April 11, 2013 - 3:59 pm

I’m so sorry for your terrible loss. She was a beautiful young lady.

Brian Wright April 11, 2013 - 4:01 pm

As a father … as a human … how could you not be affected .. hearing of this man’s pain … but I’d suggest more importantly his daughters anguish.
There are many here with similar sentiments … please don’t let this energy slip into ether.

Where do we write. Who do we write.
I am mad. I am tired of hearing of these stories … As a father… As a human … What can I do?

Fred Block April 11, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Thanks for sharing these intimate details about your precious daughter. I can’t even begin to imagine how you feel but I am sitting here in tears after reading your story. I have two daughters 12 and 8 and can’t imagine losing them. My heart weeps for you and your family.

Linda April 11, 2013 - 4:10 pm

A very moving and powerful testament to the love you have for your beautiful daughter, so sorry for your loss and may time heal your heart.

Judy April 11, 2013 - 4:14 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter.. the RCMP need to look into this.. and do a proper investigation.. and those that raped her need to pay for what they have done.

Becky Grosset April 11, 2013 - 4:16 pm

My heart goes out to you, no parent should ever have to bury their child. I pray god gives you and your family strength. JUSTICE FOR REHTAEH!

ashley April 11, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Because of you, we will remember Rehtaeh for her heart. I wish I could get her back to you, instead of offering mere thoughts and prayers.

Laura Reed April 11, 2013 - 4:27 pm

I am so sorry for your loss, your daughter was a beautiful person, inside and out. I cannot imagine the let down your daughter must of felt, by these pathetic individuals. God bless you and your family

Greg Currie April 11, 2013 - 4:35 pm

Thank you for sharing with us what must be such a difficult time in your life. Your daughter was a wonderful young woman who was failed by those who should have been protecting her. As a fellow father, my heart has been breaking these last few days as I read about her. I hope that you will find strength and beauty in your memories of her and that the world will be changed in positive ways to help others who struggled as she did.

Tara April 11, 2013 - 4:54 pm

Hey Glen, I am so sorry for what happened to your precious little girl. She is so beautiful. I hope that justice is served. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

CR April 11, 2013 - 4:56 pm

I’m so sorry. My heart aches for your family.

DARLENE April 11, 2013 - 4:56 pm

soo sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter rehtaeh…..hopefully justice will be served for her…r.i.p. beautiful angel…soar with the angels…my condolences to the family….god bless you all…a capebretoner at heart from ottawa…

CC April 11, 2013 - 5:02 pm

Sad story, thank you for sharing. To the Police or DA, if this was one of your children would there be zero action? Zero punishment? Do the right thing here and put these kids in jail!

Toria Shaw April 11, 2013 - 5:09 pm

My heart is breaking with you. I am so very sorry to you and your family for the loss of such a beautiful young woman. Please know that your daughter is with you and will always be with you. Rehtaeh may you finally be at peace. Sending love, light and healing to you and your family!

Jaslyn Lee April 11, 2013 - 5:21 pm

As I read your words, tears fell from my eyes. To hear a father speak so beautifully about his daughter,,then to have her taken away… seems so unfair. Life is unfair. Your baby girl is an Angel now with no more pain, hurt or disappointment. She will be the internal strength you are looking for. Thoughts and prayers are with you and yours xo

Rehtaeh Parsons Died of Disappointment, Father Laments, Is Now at Peace « April 11, 2013 - 5:22 pm

[…] died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months,” Canning writes. “She hung on right to the very end, when the nurses were telling us if she couldn’t be […]

Father of Teen Suicide Victim Issues Emotional Plea April 11, 2013 - 5:25 pm

[…] on his website, Glen Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons’ father, said his daughter was "disappointed to death" in the […]

David de Witt April 11, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Glen: like many people, I am very saddened, and I feel for you and for Rehtaeh’s other family members. But I am also outraged. Not only was the accusation alone sufficient evidence to launch a case, it is clear that there is now another case to add, that of police malpractice. We are not living in Saudi Arabia, where one needs four male eye witnesses to prosecute for rape. And digital trails are enough to send people to prison for many crimes. This should have been a slam-dunk case. I am outraged. You need to focus on the tremendous gift that was Rehtaeh’s life. But the rest of us have a just society to build.

Britt April 11, 2013 - 5:50 pm

I can’t explain the hurt my heart feels while reading this. So incredibly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such beautiful stories about your daughter.

Cassandra McMullin April 11, 2013 - 5:57 pm

Glen, I’m so sorry for your loss. My son is only 8 weeks old. He’s my first child, and please know that I will raise him to be a good man. To never put a girl through what your daughter went though. My heart aches for you and your family and as a fellow Nova Scotian, I am ashamed for these boys. I hope you and your family can find comfort in knowing how many lives Rae’s story has touched.

Jack Findley April 11, 2013 - 6:02 pm

Glen, I am so sorry. It isn’t enough that I have two daughters of my own and grieved your loss as if it was my own as I read your blog. I will pray for your heart and mind, my brother.

Bryce Fleming April 11, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Mr. Canning. Most of the people here will tell you they cannot imagine your pain. Unfortunately I can because you see I lost my 20 year old daughter just last May. She did not die quite as tragically as your beautiful young lady, but she is gone all the same. It is a long road ahead. Feel free to contact me at my e-mail if you need to trade misery. I have my own blog as well “Losing Calista: Across the Wide Blue Straights”. My daughter was a photographer and she was pretty good. I have an idea you might want to share if you want to try to make something bloom out of misery.

Hollywood Updates - Rehtaeh Parsons Died of Disappointment, Father Laments, Is Now at Peace - April 11, 2013 - 6:18 pm

[…] died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months,” Canning writes. “She hung on right to the very end, when the nurses were telling us if she couldn’t be […]

Linda April 11, 2013 - 6:23 pm

I am heartbroken for you, your family and poor Rehtaeh. The injustice she suffered is enormous.

Helen April 11, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Thank you for sharing your daughters story … one that reminds people that she was not a faceless person of unfortunate circumstances … but a child like any other who laughed and cried had dreams and ambitions. A whole life ahead of her … You have amazing strength and courage … it is not easy to open the door that allows the world in … especially now. I wish peace for you and yours.

Hilary April 11, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Glen, this is a heartbreaking story. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your memories of Rehtaeh with us.

Dixie April 11, 2013 - 6:29 pm

As a daughter I want to give you a hug. She sounds like a wonderful person. I know I would of enjoyed spending time with her. We have a lot in common. I pray that you find peace. I am so sorry for your loss You sound so much like my dad it is hard not to cry for you and your family and for her.

Patricia Bruce April 11, 2013 - 6:59 pm

So So SAD,My granddaughter is a year younger and lost her Mom at age 14,I fear for her sometimes.May God Bless and keep you guys,this is a horrible heartbreaking story.

Anna April 11, 2013 - 7:03 pm

Brought me to tears. I am a single mother with a daughter of my own. My heart breaks for you. How can we help??

Luz April 11, 2013 - 7:20 pm

I am from Peru. I am a mother and also I feel your lost. I am so sorry for your precious daughter. She now is playing in a better world.

Josh Graber April 11, 2013 - 7:32 pm

Words can not express how sorry I am for you, your amazing daughter and your family. I sat and wept as I read your remarks. I want to share with you this quote and hope that you find peace in your heart soon.

“Before the sublime mystery of life and spirit, the mystery of infinite space and endless time, we stand in reverent awe….
This much we know: we are at least one phase of the immortality of life.
The mighty stream of life flows on, and, in this mighty stream, we too flow on…not lost…but each eternally significant. For this I feel: The spirit never betrays the person who trusts it. Physical life may be defeated but life goes on; character survives, goodness lives and love is immortal.”
-Col Robert G. Ingersoll


Barb MacDonald April 11, 2013 - 7:39 pm

I am so angry. All of your comments were going through my head and I was trying to come up with the right words to convey my feelings. Then I read this letter. My heart goes out to you and your family. However, my anger goes out to the N.S. justice system, the boys envolved, the people who forwarded the info and their parents. Rape and child porn is a crime in this country and your daughter was let down. How many other girls will be in this situation if nothing is done?

Steve Watt April 11, 2013 - 7:45 pm

You have my utmost apologies that your daughter ever had to experience this. I didn’t know her, but I will remember her as you have described her. Thank you for sharing, I know it couldn’t have been easy.

Jeannette Laframboise April 11, 2013 - 7:57 pm

I am so so sorry. But, sorry just doesn’t cut it or even come close. As a parent, my heart is truly breaking for you. There is nothing, absolutely nothing worse than losing a child. Then, worsened even more so by the circumstances surrounding what happened. I hope and pray that you are given the strength to deal with the coming days and onward as you grieve your beautiful daughter.

Rehtaeh Parsons Died of Disappointment, Father Laments, Is Now at Peace - Entertainment April 11, 2013 - 8:02 pm

[…] died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months,” Canning writes. “She hung on right to the very end, when the nurses were telling us if she couldn’t be […]

Sheila Davis April 11, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Simply devastatingly incomprehensible! 🙁 What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl, inside and out! I am SO SORRY for your loss! My heart goes out to you. <3

Laurie Ann April 11, 2013 - 8:12 pm

I can only imagine the pain and grief you are experiencing! My heart goes out to you and I am so glad you have shared your story of life with your beautiful daughter. Life is a gift and even though you have lost the most precious thing in the world to you the gifts have been payed forward by her with the organ donation. She will forever live on in your heart and will never be forgotten with her last gift to others. May god be with you and your family.

Adam Lucas April 11, 2013 - 8:32 pm

I am so sorry for your loss of such a sweet girl. No one should ever have to go through what you and your family are going though right now

Marilyn Evans April 11, 2013 - 8:32 pm

My heart goes out to you Glen and your family in the tragic loss of your daughter. As a parent who lost my daughter suddenly at age 19 years from suicide after coming across an Internet site encouraging to take her life reading your blog only intensifies the resolve to “do something” about youth and social media. What happened to your daughter goes far beyond bullying and people need to wake up and face reality here.

Although our stories about the loss of our daughters differ I can tell you I do understand that indescribable pain you are feeling right now. All I can offer is to say feel it in all its intensity, take care of yourself in whatever way makes sense to you and reach out to others as you need. Writing your blog is a first step. And remember you always will be Rehtaeh’s dad. That will never ever change. Take care

Jocelyn April 11, 2013 - 8:55 pm

So sorry and god bless…thank you for sharing…even though I don’t know you or your family but your thoughts sure made me feel like I do….take care…

Barb April 11, 2013 - 10:09 pm

My heart breaks reading about your sweet daughter. So sorry for all that your daughter had to go through. I am praying for justice for your family.

Carolyn Cordle April 11, 2013 - 10:13 pm

I will not take one moment to focus on the evils that brought this upon your daughter for they are not even worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning how beautiful your daughter is, and how she chose to live on even after death with her gift of life. Thank you for letting us have a glimpse into your beautiful daughters life. I hope time brings you peace and strength to endure life without your precious daughter. Her death has saddened the lives of many globally. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and forever here on out.

Heather April 11, 2013 - 10:16 pm

This story broke my heart. Not just because another beautiful soul was lost, but because those who were responsible took no responsibility.
Your daughter knew she was loved. If you were able to express half the amount of love that you conveyed in this letter to her then she knew she was loved.
I wish you and your family all the best in this trying time.

chris April 11, 2013 - 10:17 pm

I can’t describe her pain and your pain. Students bullied in schools carry scars through their whole lives. Many never recover and heal. Your pain is worse then most.

Darren Kranz April 11, 2013 - 10:21 pm

Dear Glen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss and the circumstances surrounding it. I have never been compelled to respond to such a forum but I have read you beautiful letter three times and wept each time thinking of my angle and what you and your family must be experiencing. As a father I have thought about and admit I am not sure I could maintain your courage and sense of what is right while such vile evil walks the street nearby. I sincerely hope that your call for action is answered and somehow some form – irrelevant as it is now – of justice is found and while you truly wish them no undue harm sadly protecting their identity only demonstrates to others of their kind that you can get away with murder.

Suzanne April 11, 2013 - 10:26 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I know no words can make your pain disappear. Just know that you are heard and that we mourn with you.

Josianne Dube April 11, 2013 - 10:27 pm

Parts of her are still on earth. God bless you all, her family for that. Please know that our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you. Let her go to her Light, to her peace. May she find all the Love needed to rest her soul and find peace for eternity. To you, to her mother and her love ones, my deepest condoleances. From Chambly, Québec, Canada.

Allison April 11, 2013 - 10:29 pm

Thank you for letting us in to see who she really was. I am so sorry she is gone .

Nicole Miller April 11, 2013 - 10:31 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss. Another tragic outcome from our justice system.

Julie April 11, 2013 - 10:34 pm

I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say except I will pray for you. I, too, have a daughter. This kind of stuff has to stop. Not one more child. Not another sister, friend, mom, daughter or stranger. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your story and your strength with the world. It is through you telling your story that Rae’s death will not be for nothing. Please keep telling your story. And remember that you will always be your daughter’s father and she will always be in your heart.

Cathy April 11, 2013 - 10:40 pm

THANKYOU for introducing your daughter to us with this beautiful tribute. We are grieving with you and the rest of Rehtaehs’ family and her friends. Time my friend, time will ease your grief and pain…… ease not cure…… I know because I watched the pain and grief of my parents after the sudden death of my 4 year old sister 40 years ago, and while I know they still grieve and suffer, with time they focused on making sure the rest of us didn’t forget her and that helped make living without her easier and happier for all of us. Do that, focus on making sure the rest of us don’t forget Rehtaeh, and smile because that is what she would want you to do. I will remember her. Cathy N.S.

Lauralee April 11, 2013 - 10:51 pm

Beautifully written and I’m terribly sorry you had to write it. I am sorry for your loss.

Jack Simpson April 11, 2013 - 10:58 pm

Glen, I really don’t know what I can say but my thoughts are with you,
your family, friends and with all your daughters friends ….


Jack Simpson

Cathy April 11, 2013 - 11:01 pm

THANKYOU for introducing you daughter to us in this lovely tribute. We are grieving with you and the rest of Rehtaehs family and her friends. Time my friend, time will ease you grief and your pain…… I say ease not heal. I watched my parents pain ease after the sudden death of my 4 year old sister, and while it took time, they came to realize that they could live with the grief and the pain and that they could smile and be happy. Their strength came from so very many places but the one thing that gave them the most strength (I think) was their need to make sure that the rest of us didn’t forget her, so they told stories about her and laughed (cried too) and they showed pictures of her and listened to others tell stories about her, laughed and cried with us. Mostly they smiled when someone mentioned her name because they knew we hadn’t forgotten her and that made them so happy. You do that too…… Talk about her, show pictures of her, remind people about the things she did, and the things she loved, smile and be happy……. Because she would want that.

Chris April 11, 2013 - 11:15 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. Love and prayers to you and your family.

Daniel April 11, 2013 - 11:27 pm

Me and My family pray for you and your loving family in this time of pain and sorrow, your girl sounded like my 4 year old I really hope she can grow up to be the same beautiful soul that is your daughter. God Bless.

C. Minifie, Vancouver April 11, 2013 - 11:31 pm

I have read this and am changed by it. Your words on disappointment v. bullying frame your beautiful daughter’s death

Kaylee April 11, 2013 - 11:35 pm

My heart is broken for you 🙁 You share such beautiful memories of your daughter and that is how she should BE remembered. She was a beautiful young woman and did not deserve any of the pain, suffering, torture or degrading laughter that she was presented with. Her story broke my heart. I am not religious in any way, but I do pray for your daughter that she is in peace and smiling without fear or pain. Condolences are not enough to you and your family. Even though she is no longer here, your daughter is with you and taking care of you as you did her. Please keep the memories of her close to your heart as they are very precious.

Jamie Payne April 11, 2013 - 11:43 pm

I just wanted to say that I am so very hurt and disgusted as I am sure you are. While I am so very sorry for your loss what I keep thinking is of your little girl. I look at her pictures and my heart breaks for her. As I sit here and read this tonight I can’t help but to look through her eyes, at what she must have felt, and endured until she just couldn’t do it anymore. I mean can anyone really imagine making the decision to end your life knowing you will leave behind those whom you love so much,and who love you just as much? This is the thing that will keep me up tonight. To those that forced this beautiful soul to have to make that decision, I hope you live forever, and find a conscience so you can look in the mirror everyday and know what you have done. To the population in general I will end with this; a quote by Sir Edmund Burke. “The only necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. I am truly sorry for your loss. May the Lord bless you and yours…..

JanetS April 11, 2013 - 11:51 pm

Our family personally went through an episode of attempted suicide in 1999. The arrival of the police ended up with my husband arrested and thrown into the local drunk tank…(NEVER in legal trouble in his life…he was in his 40’s).

Charges over charges were put on him. We were on the CBC radio. We had three growing children.

He was released back to me in worse shape than when I called 911…and I didn’t have a safety net of who to call should this happen again. It was excruciating.

Now I hear how your beautiful daughter too was left down by the legal system (not to mention the rapists, the so-called friends). My heart breaks for you.

Although any protests at this point in time will not bring your lovely daughter back to you, maybe the exposure will bring legal justice to the rapists…and mature future police depts. will not say “not enough evidence” when there are pictures. Most rapes don’t have that.

She is in a better place now, better than the sad place she’s lived for the last couple of years.

I pray for a good result

Cathy April 11, 2013 - 11:53 pm

THANKYOU for introducing your daughter to us with this lovely tribute. We are grieving with you and the rest of Rehtaehs’ family and her friends. Time my friend, time will ease your pain and your grief…… I say ease not heal. I watched my parents suffering ease over time after the sudden death of my 4 year old sister, and while it took time, they came to realize they could live with the pain and the grief and still smile and be happy and not feel guilt. Their strength came from many places but the thing that gave them the most strength (I think) was their need to make sure the rest of us did not forget her, so they told stories about her and they laughed, and they showed pictures of her and they smiled, and they listened to others tell stories about her and they laughed and they cried with us. Mostly they smile when someone mentions her name because they know we have not forgotten her and that makes them so happy. So you do that too…… Tell stories about her, and laugh…… Show pictures of her, and smile….. Talk about the things she would do and the things she loved, and laugh and smile and cry too……. But mostly smile and be happy, because that is what she would want. I will remember her and I didn’t even know her
Cathy N.S.

Helene Zonana April 12, 2013 - 12:22 am

I feel so sorry for your loss, you are right, your loss is our loss, your daughter, is our daughter too. The school, the community, the police, the system has failed Rehtea. I hope you find peace in your heart, some time. I also hope that justice be served.

GAYLE HIRST April 12, 2013 - 12:23 am

Hello I am sorry for your loss.
I am angry that this was not investigated
Can you advise what member of parliament we
must lobby to correct this injustice?
I promise to do my part in making
sure that a strong message is sent
that rape is not acceptable

Will Burke April 12, 2013 - 12:24 am

Thankyou so much for sharing this with us Glenn.May she finally find the peace in heaven that she could not find here on earth.R.I.P Rehtaeh

bebe April 12, 2013 - 12:32 am

I’ve never met Rehtaeh, but I cannot stop crying. And then I imagined how the world crumbled for you. She was only 2 years younger than me. She could have been my sister. A very sweet, loving sister. I’m sorry for your loss.

Melissa Ariel April 12, 2013 - 12:33 am

Glen, I am sorry for your loss which, naturally, is my loss as well. Thank you for sharing the story of such a beautiful spirit. She will live on in your heart and memory.
So happy to hear that her generosity was able to save the lives of others… You are being so courageous and I commend you for that. Fight the good fight, we are behind you.

Kristen M. April 12, 2013 - 12:43 am

This just breaks my heart. She sounded like such a wonderful human being – a warm, kind, loving heart. I am sickened by what happened to her and how she was treated afterwards. I sincerely hope the perpetrators are punished to the full extent, regardless of their age. And may her amazing spirit live on in those she saved. Truly sorry for your devasting loss.

Suzanne April 12, 2013 - 12:45 am

I was bullied in school when I was young. The teachers/parents did nothing to stop it. Nothing! Even though I am almost 60 years old, I have never forgotten a moment of the years of pain and suffering these horrible people caused me. I went on to have four children of my own, who were all bullied too, to varying degrees. I have to say that I found the pain of seeing them fearful, sad or downtrodden was far worse than all my own suffering. I can tell your daughter was a kind-hearted, gentle soul who just wanted to live her life in peace. Why can’t people just leave other people alone? For the life of me, I don’t understand why people feel inclined or indeed feel they have the right to be so cruel to others. It’s amazing. And, from the news stories, some of the people leading the condolences, are the very people who did this to her. Shame on them! And shame on every parent who sees this behavior in their children and doesn’t address it in their home. They know who they are – there’s no mistaking it. You can see who your kids hang out with and how they behave when they are around them. These boys should be brought to justice and made to pay for the terrible crime of gang rape that they committed, but also for the ensuing excruciating pain & suffering that they put this lovely young girl through. Pain that was so grave, it ultimately caused her to kill herself. Your words, Glen, are a tribute to Rehtaeh and would bring her to tears if she was to read them, just as they make others cry now. I’m so sorry she felt she had to kill herself. And I’m so sorry you don’t get to spend the rest of your life with her. It’s clear you were a good dad to Rehtaeh, and I’ll bet the dads of these boys wish they could feel the pride and love you had for your little girl. But, they never will.

Megan April 12, 2013 - 12:49 am

Dear Mr. Canning and family,

My heart absolutely goes out to you. You beautiful daughter Rehtaeh appears to have been and sounds like an absolutely beautiful young Women and was and would have continued to be an absolute asset to us all.

She sounded like she had a deeply kind and generous heart. Sometimes, those who have a heart like Rehtaeh end up getting so badly hurt. God – it’s so hard to know what to say. Her spirit ( and yours) is felt through your words and through her eyes. Wishing you the greatest of comforts and wisdom at this difficult time.

God Speed.

Letty Falcones April 12, 2013 - 1:17 am

Hello Glenn, you are such a courageous man, that you put so precisely your pain into words, the almighty God bless you, and help you to endure your loss.

I ask you to forgive this broken, and uncivilized society, where moral values are vanishing, where human compassion does not exist, and common sense is lost.

Justice on earth probably won’t be seen, but these poor rapist won’t escape the divine justice, they have showed no conscience for the level of their acts, and yet it seems they have been protected by POLICE, that are here to serve and protect, for the school AUTHORITIES, that have a blind eye for these people with rotten souls, for SOCIAL MEDIA, that identified a picture when a mother is breastfeeding a baby, and this post are considered inappropriate, but pictures of innocent girls being raped are acceptable

Frederick April 12, 2013 - 1:38 am

Glen – There are no words that I can offer that can relieve the loss and pain you are suffering. I can only offer my tears: tears of sorrow for your family, and tears of rage for what passes for justice in Canada. We have failed you as a society; our claims of being a people of justice, goodness, respect, dignity, and decency.ring hollow.

To everyone else…

I noticed that the overwhelming majority of comments came from women. I suspect many have felt the indignity of being treated like an object rather than a person. Some even know first hand the wanton violence of abuse and the horror of rape. Thank you for your courage in sharing this information.

Some of the men who responded spoke of the loss of their own daughters; others were vulnerable enough to admit that what Glen shared touched them deeply, even to tears. I suspect some of them know what it is like to be abused. Or bullied. Or mocked and beaten because of their sensitivity. Or raped. Thank you for your courage in sharing.

The wounded need to speak of what has happened to them – and we must listen until the pain they share compels us into action in seeking justice for them. Those who wound need to be confronted with the damage they have inflicted and held to account for it, and we must not let them excuse themselves (or be excused) nor treat their being held accountable as a joke. It is their humanity that is at stake – not that of the bullied.

This will require a dramatic shift in our culture and our courts. We will be told that bullying is the natural order of things, that it is “our problem, so just shut up and suck it up!”, and that there is power, those who wield it, and those who are subject to them – and guess to which group you belong.

This is why their deeds must be exposed for what they are: attempts to wield power over others, without regard for those whom they oppress and abuse.

Ann April 12, 2013 - 1:41 am

The world is a darker place for all of us because your wonderful daughter is no longer in it. May she rest in peace, and may you and your wife somehow find the will to go on.

Ann April 12, 2013 - 1:42 am

The world is a darker place for all of us because your wonderful daughter is no longer in it. May she rest in peace, and may you and your wife somehow find the will to go on…

Lori Hall April 12, 2013 - 2:09 am

I want you to know that the hearts of the nation go out to you and your family. I do hope that some justice will be done for your daughter, I too have a daughter, who I love more than I can say, and will be doing some lobbying for your sweet girl in the near future. Somehow we will find justice for your girl and hopefully some closure for you and your family
god bless you for sharing your life with us all

Alicia April 12, 2013 - 2:11 am

Tears in my eyes…no words to give. Just prayers from the deepest part of my heart. Children are so precious and the love between parents and kids is indescribable. May God bless you and give you comfort in your time of need.

Andrea Sz April 12, 2013 - 2:12 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I was speechless when I heard the news on the radio. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I will do everything I can to help you get justice for your daughter. I will also make sure my boys will grow up with respect for girls and women. My heart goes out to you.

R.O. April 12, 2013 - 2:15 am

Please, Canada, Do what’s right!!

Theresia Reid April 12, 2013 - 2:27 am

I am sorry for your pain and for the pain your beautiful daughter felt. Thank you for sharing her with us. I am praying for you.

Rehtaeh Pasons suicide: Stephen Harper ‘sickened’ by alleged ‘sexual criminal activity’ | Canada | News | National Post April 12, 2013 - 2:45 am

[…] Rehtaeh Parsons’ father, Glen Canning, made similar accusations in a heartbreaking blog post. […]

Ronald L. Nance April 12, 2013 - 3:20 am

My heart goes out to you and your family, such a beautiful young girl, a heart the size of her’s had so much to offer this world……..May you find peace knowing that so many people in this screwed up world do care and offer their thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

Juan Carlos April 12, 2013 - 3:31 am

As a parent of a 11 year old daughter, I can’t imagine how devastated you must be now, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being so brave to come and tell us about your amazing daughter, I hope one day you will find comfort and peace, and justice will be done for Rehtaeh. My heart is with you.

Robert Koch April 12, 2013 - 4:08 am

I am so so sorry for you. Losing your baby girl. The photos are heartbreaking. May God bless you all.

Elizabeth Sands April 12, 2013 - 4:27 am

Mr Canning my heart breaks for the TRAGEDY that has happened with your daughter Rehtaeh. She was a beautiful young woman both inside and out. She should be extremely proud of the young woman she became, it is obvious to me that your parenting made her the woman that she was. Your words made cry for the loss that this world has without your beautiful daughter in it. No one can have any idea of the extent of the loss, pain, sorrow and grief you are feeling. My hope is that the 4 monster’s will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I am sure you are not looking forward to the trial phase of your daughter’s story, because she will be raped again by the legal system. These monster’s will have to answer for their crimes one day when they face OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. I don’t know if you are a man of faith. I am a Christian and have every confidence that they will have to answer for their behavior. Also am a firm believer in what goes around comes around, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually. My heart goes out to you. You and your daughter will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Ben April 12, 2013 - 4:49 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story… I work in the media myself and I think your words will carry far and wide to shed light on this issue. I hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and that our society will recognize the horror that befell Rehtaeh so that we may act decisively to prevent it. I cannot begin to imagine your loss; I greatly admire your courage throughout this ordeal.

May she rest in peace. I hope her story will serve to save other girls just like her.

Father of Teen Suicide Victim Issues Emotional Plea | April 12, 2013 - 4:58 am

[…] on his website, Glen Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons’ father, said his daughter was “disappointed to […]

Andrew Kaprusiak April 12, 2013 - 4:59 am

The heart-breaking story of Rehtaeh Parsons brings to bear several contemporary problems that we are now facing in Canada: bullying at school and the workplace, damage that individuals using the internet can cause and paralysed bureaucracies. However, I believe that the most significant problem that Rehtaeh’s case illustrates is how utterly and completely corrupted our social institutions have become. How is it that a fifteen year-old girl can be raped, have the act photographed and posted on the internet and then be cruelly taunted about it, all the while the authorities do absolutely nothing about it?

I am not going to make broad-brush statements about the police in this matter because, in general, the majority of them are good people. However, it is apparent from Rehtaeh’s case that the good cops are not the ones controlling the actions of the police. Our police, like so many of our other institutions, have been corrupted. The corrupters are organized criminals and our police forces have been corrupted into defending sex offenders rather than their victims.

I was aghast to discover this fact a few years ago when I was flashed by a man in Eastern Ontario. I returned to his home with the police and while in my car I heard him angrily confess to his crime toward the attending officers. He yelled out: “So what if I did?” Nevertheless, the officer returned to my car and informed me that I had been mistaken and that the man had had on “flesh-coloured” underwear and therefore, I had not been flashed. To summarize, this officer completely defended the flasher, obviously a long-time sex offender, even though the man confessed to his crime right in front of the police!

It is for reasons such as this this that Canadians must come together and form a government that will declare a state of emergency against the corrupters of our police and our other institutions, who are organized criminals. We must get the people out of our workplaces who work to have our police protect sex offenders.

Darren April 12, 2013 - 5:10 am

Glen I feel so much despair, I can’t imagine what you and your wife feel. I am a single father of one Son, a good Son. I hope you find the strength to continue on. My condolences to you, thank you for sharing your story of a beautiful Daughter.

Phil April 12, 2013 - 5:41 am

I have so many emotions running through me that i don’t know where to start. Rage, anger, disgust, disbief, sadness. I wish there was something I can say to make it better. I have a daughter and it tears me apart to think of anything happening to her. I hope you can find the strength to carry you through this tragedy and injustice. I will tell my daughter about Rehtaeh one day. She will not be forgotten.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley

Lakshminarayanan April 12, 2013 - 6:12 am


First please accept my condolences.

Saw this…
After a lengthy investigation, police told Parsons’ mother that no charges would be laid — despite the cellphone picture, there wasn’t enough evidence.

I was just wondering what does the Police mean by evidence in this case. There are pictures. If the girl says there was no consent then I think it is an open and shut case. Looks like Police are trying to protect the boys. I thought these things ahppen only in INDIA from where I am writing.

Good Luck in getting the culprits booked.
Once again my condolences.

Jo Reymen April 12, 2013 - 6:26 am

“Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance… ”
(Kahlil Gibran)

Nadine April 12, 2013 - 7:41 am

Dear Glen,

I didnt know your daughter personally, but while reading your thoughts about her and everything what happened I couldnt help, I started crying a lot. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am sure that Rehtaeh did not only teach you, she teached us all: I will do whatever I can to fight and stop bullying!!! I will do my best that something like that will never happen again! And I think that I am just a small part of a huge crowd of people that thinks like that. And all of that is Rehtaehs achievement, she will be never forgotten.

My Heart is with you,
Nadine, 23, Munich, Germany

Robyn April 12, 2013 - 7:47 am

I don’t even know where to begin.
I read about your beautiful girl in the news. Her story struck me so hard I wanted to learn about who she really was. And I ended up here reading about a wonderful person and a family, not just a passive victim.
I have two young daughters my self. Your daughter could be my daughter. I was a girl, who as so easily happens, got into a bad situation. As I read about your lovely, clever, educated, loved, nurtured daughter it terrifies me that not only are our obviously vulnerable young people in danger, but that however much we love and educate our girls and raise them to believe in themselves respect their rights, this will not always protect them. I’m not sure what I can do, but for your daughters and mine, I make a promise that I will try not just to try give my girls the tools to protect themselves, but that in our small way, we will try to challenge and change a culture in which allowed this happen.

Love and respect from my family to yours, Robyn, London UK

Bob McKercher April 12, 2013 - 8:22 am

Stephen Harper is right when he said that bullying is not the right term for what was done to your daughter. There is a better term: identity rape.

Identity rape is a hate crime committed by a group against an individual. The internet makes it possible for these criminals to identify a victim to each other, to coalesce as a group, to communicate and amplify their hate and to jointly swarm their target. The rape target is constantly attacked in subtle ways – muttered words, hateful looks, prank calls, internet messaging, physical interference – many times a day from many different directions. Their identity is completely destroyed and in its place is erected an object of fiction, a two dimensional caricature created by the rape swarm for its own amusement. Finally, as with your daughter and others like Amanda Todd, the victim is literally hounded to death.

If Minister Nicholson wants a place to put this in the criminal code, and that is indeed where it belongs, he should be looking at the hate crimes provisions.

Paula April 12, 2013 - 8:43 am

My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your wife! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful storie of you and your beautiful Daughter.
I have a Daughter she is 13 now and I can not imagine the pain you and your family are going through right now. I am so very proud of what you have done for your precious daughter by telling the world how amazing she is and by not letting her be remembered by what was horribly done to her you are one amazing father.

Syd Salmon April 12, 2013 - 8:45 am

Our prayers go out to your family. It’s impossible to truly appreciate how devastating the loss of your daughter would be. Our condolences to your family.

I sincerely hope your story helps us as Canadians realize that we have a lot of work to do as a society to protect and truly value our women. There should be no such thing as an “innocent bystander” in these situations. Your story helps us all focus on the fact that this story is about a real, incredible young woman not a statistic.

May you and your family find peace.

Pedro Vicente April 12, 2013 - 8:53 am

Dear Glen, i´m a portuguese man, father of a three year old girl, and i want to give you my honest condolesces about your daughter, it´s absolutely devastating and unhuman what some devils did to her. I hope you have the strenght to continue with life, and remember ,God will bring back your baby one day, and end with all the evilness around the world. A big emotional hugh to you and your family.
yours sincerely


Yann April 12, 2013 - 8:55 am

just some words from France to say you how i feel sad about your story….
i never knew rehtaeh, but i won’t forget her.
sorry for my english
Sincères condoléances
mes pensées vous accompagnent.

Richard April 12, 2013 - 9:15 am

I have 2 young daughters and read your blog with tears in my eyes. Please accept my deepest sympathy in what must be a terrible time, and I hope you get the justice that your family deserves.

Nicky April 12, 2013 - 9:21 am

I am so very sorry for your loss the love one ,the justice will be done ,God ll be with you

J Braid April 12, 2013 - 9:29 am

I’m sorry for your loss. As a new-ish father of a one-year-old daughter I sometimes worry for her future in this world. People don’t care or respect one another and justice seems to be broken. Hopefully, by the time Jo is in her teens, young males of that era will have been taught to respect women… and boundaries. Hopefully, your daughter’s pain can serve as a catalyst that brings law and justice back to a world where criminals boast about their exploits.

WE are the generation of fathers who MUST be the ones to teach children [especially boys] to respect others, not the school system. So, gentlemen, man up, start early and teach your little guys well.

NIamh McKinstry April 12, 2013 - 9:31 am

My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. May justice and peace be found for your daughter Rehtaeh and may she rest in peace.

lois richard April 12, 2013 - 9:35 am

my heart goes out to you and your family all those who your daughter has help from her death may you find peace from that ….now lets all pray justice will be done .I have 3 children one daughter and I can’t imagine my life without her or my sons

Anna April 12, 2013 - 9:35 am

You have done a wonderfully brave thing and spoken out of your love for your beautiful daughter. We are all crying inside for the fact that this could happen, the devastation it leaves in its wake and the pain you and your wife have to wake up to everyday. I am raging against the flippancy and cruelty of her attackers and the lengthy period of unhappiness and isolation your daughter experienced in her last year of life. How dare they get away with it. I pray that prosecution follows and that those who were responsible come to justice.
Thank you for your courage and for leading us away from the headlines and towards knowing who your daughter was, a gorgeous-sounding individual.

claire portman April 12, 2013 - 9:41 am

Dear Glen – I sit here is tears after reading your blog. As a mother of a daughter myself I cannot imagine your pain. If we can add our voice in any way to your campaign to bring some sort of justice for your beautiful girl just let us know.

Palani S April 12, 2013 - 9:41 am

Dear Glen,

My thoughts and prayers with your family and you. I know that no words of mine can ease your pain.


Alasdair MacDonald April 12, 2013 - 9:45 am

Hello Glen,

As a father of a young daughter I feel moved to write a comment and I greatly appreciate this insight into your relationship with Rehtaeh and your feelings at this time. I found myself grinning broadly as you mentioned the goldfish incident and found myself holding back tears when I read about the hate you feel towards a particular wooden box. I can not begin to imagine the pain you and yours must be going through but I will offer you, your wife and your family my deepest sympathy and condolences. You will see those beautiful eyes again my friend.

Anais B P April 12, 2013 - 9:47 am

My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so very sorry. it is time for a change. let us hope this tragic event can be the fuel for that. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

David April 12, 2013 - 9:58 am

This is a heartbreaking story, I have a daughter myself and understand how much you loved her. I just hope that one day your pain will heal. She sounds lovely, I feel sure she is somewhere better now.

michael April 12, 2013 - 10:00 am

This is not right these boys need to be put in prison for life I will surport you all the way to find Justice for what these disgusting evil boys have done. Karma will come round to them.

Melissa April 12, 2013 - 10:05 am

In your time of grief please know there are people who care and share tears and anger along side you. No words could ever comfort your anguish and disappointment. They say time heals all, they obviously never lost a child. God bless you, Keep fighting for her, she isn’t far. She sees.

Derek Kavanagh April 12, 2013 - 10:12 am

I`m totally dismayed how this can happen in todays society. As a father of a 19 year old daughter i feel physically ill after reading this, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Glen, may Rehtaeh rest in peace and the four boys/animals be brought to justice, An eye For An Eye !

irish mother April 12, 2013 - 10:16 am

Mr canning thank you for having the courage to write this, for allowing the world to see just how beautiful a person and daughter Rehtaeh was/ and always will be. a young life cut short, but she has touched the hearts of many across this somewhat cruel planet. As a mother i’m devastated reading this and my heart goes out to you all at this time. The injustice in a system supposed to protect, is seen time and time again in across the world-shame on them.

we must ensure that this is NOT allowed to happen again. for the sake of this beautiful little girl and for other children around the world. thoughts from ireland x (below just two poems that i myself have got comfort in)

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says that we do love you.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there… I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow…
I am the diamond glints on snow…
I am the sunlight on ripened grain…
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight…
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there… I did not die…

Anti-Sec April 12, 2013 - 10:18 am

You have our support, we feel for you’re loss. Justice for Rehtaeh will come and her legacy will always live on. Annoymous

Janet Jones April 12, 2013 - 10:20 am

What a courageous piece of writing – a moving tribute to your beautiful girl. As my tears stream or you and your angel Rehtaeh, I just can’t comprehend how those responsible cannot be brought to justice for causing such an appalling, tragic loss. Words are so inadequate – You and your family are in my prayers.

Julian Bailey April 12, 2013 - 10:21 am

Your daughter seems to have been a perfect figure of your community & a young lady any male or female could aspire to be like. It is the typical story of the good dying young and bad living life on. I hope the people who carried out this attack are bought to justice and are dealt heavy consequences for their crimes, no one deserves what has happened to her & the people who were able to commit these crimes aswell as post them online should be held responsible and in my opinion put to death, your daughter will never come back but they will live life as if nothings happened, keep fighting because the good of the world are behind you!!!!!! This is sent from Wood Green in North London so you know every corner of the world knows your story, may God be with you & may your daughter rest in eternal peace.

Lawrence Spicer April 12, 2013 - 10:28 am

I commend you for your strength and offer you my deepest sympathies for the loss of your baby girl. I only have to think for a moment how I would feel if my baby girl or my buddy boy were no longer part of my world and I am immediately reduced to tears. Like you, my heart beats for my children. I will do and endure anything for them.

My baby girl has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at school with little to no support from the school system or her peers. My son was once a victim of verbal bullying that went unchecked for a long time as well. Together we have learned that the current school based “Say no to bullying” programs are not effective because they do not adequately address the underlying reasons why bullying continues to thrive; bystanders do not bear witness against the bullies out of fear of losing social status or worse…becoming targets themselves or being labelled as a “rat”. It is not OK to sit idlely by while someone else is the target.

Additionally, the anti-bullying groups in schools are often infiltrated by the bullies themselves as a way to hide in plain sight and avoid the radar of the adults trusted with combatting this Cancer that threatens to destroy our children before they have had a chance to live. Until the bystanders are ready and willing to shine a light on bullying there will never be an end to the suffering. Speaking out and taking action against bullying is not being a “rat”. It is taking a stand and being a good person, citizen, and human being. Bullies are the cockroaches of the human race. Shine a light on them and they will run for the shadows. They will not be able to stand the spot light once their behaviours and actions have been exposed for all to see. Bullies cannot survive without the support of followers and bystanders.

There is no doubt in my mind that there were many followers and bystanders who were witness to the disgusting and immoral acts perpetrated by the four young boys in this case. Any person who was should be ashamed of themselves for not coming forward when they had a chance to save a life. I urge them to come forward now and honor the memory of your beautiful child. Not coming forward condemns these witnesses to a life based on dishonesty and deceit that will only serve to destroy their own future.

It may be too late for justice for your daughter, but maybe, just maybe there is a chance that her tragic story will save another from this cruel and unusual fate that was undeservedly delivered unto her.

As a final note, though it may not be a popular perspective I believe that bullying and racism are alike in many ways. For that reason I believe this quote to be particularly on point:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

(Martin Niemöller)

Who will speak for the victims of bullying? We must all speak for them and refuse to allow bullying to be excused as normal teenage behaviour.

From one father to another, I sincerely wish that you and your family are able to find peace in the days to come.

Karen Bailey April 12, 2013 - 10:38 am

My heart and thoughts are with at this very sad time. I send you many heartfelt hugs.
Karen B.

Paul... April 12, 2013 - 10:48 am

Dear Mr Canning, Just this minute read your words about your daughter Rehtaeh. I’m so sorry for your loss, and don’t know what i can say, probably nothing that will help. I live in Glasgow, and with all that evidence i’m sure our Police force wouldn’t have sat about….Your RCMP should hold their heads in shame..Bless You..Paul.

Ryan April 12, 2013 - 10:51 am

I am so sorry you had to endure this, nobody should have to witness the soul destroying pain caused by people with no heart. My heart and thoughts go out to you.

Tristan Nuyens April 12, 2013 - 10:53 am

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss, it must be devastating. I truly hope that justice will be served, for Rehtaeh’s sake, and for of all of us.

Gerry Duffy April 12, 2013 - 10:58 am

There are NO WORDS to express the unbelievable sadness, you must feeling
Please God, I will never suffer that deadening numbness and burning pain
There are NO WORDS that can hold or support you, to give you both emotional strength
I wish I could say something special that make you feel whole again, I can’t
There are NO WORDS to express my revulsion of these animals, these devils
who took your beautiful baby away, only that they should feel the full punishment?
I am not an educated or religious man, however if there is a God, may he make these pieces of scum suffer a tortured life, these animals do not deserve to live on our planet.
Everyday we as parents live in fear of our children falling prey to the perils of this unbelievable yet sadistic world.
My wife and I send you our pitiful tear filled thoughts and wishes, there are no words that can rewind time to bring back your gorgeous child, we wish there was.
Only this, we feel this terrible pain in our hearts and our minds.

Gerry Duffy

Lesley Kofoed April 12, 2013 - 11:03 am

I haven’t managed to read it all for being so upset. It is with the love and warmth you write that broke me. The precious pictures of you and your beautiful daughter are just wonderful. Thank you for sharing some of your most treasured times with Rae. Be strong and keep up the fight for justice! You all deserve that at least x

michelle alton April 12, 2013 - 11:04 am

I am a single mother of one daughter who experienced bullying in her high school years, your words moved me to tears, and I wept as I shared the feelings of your deepest pain and sorrow for the loss of your beautifully spirited, kind and sensitive daughter. Your loss is unspeakable and her story is so tragic… I believe she is a shining light, and hope her story and the person she aspired to be will live in the hearts of many..the words that you have so courageously shared has allowed us to know your daughter on a more personal level and I hope others are as moved by this story as I to stand up and make a difference even if it is in the smallest way, and be a voice against bullying. I wish you and your family peace and comfort. Rehtaeh’s memory will now live in our hearts and she will never be forgotten.

Violet April 12, 2013 - 11:06 am

My heart aches for you and your family. Please accept my deepest condolences. We can only hope the social & media outrage over Rehtaeh’s life & death will change the system – or at least – the future of the monsters who did this to your dear daughter. Take solace in knowing that none of you, including Rehtaeh, are alone now – you have the world behind you.

KB April 12, 2013 - 11:07 am

I can understand how you may feel disappointed with the police but please know this, the reason I became an officer was to catch those who perpertrate heinous crimes and bring them to justice. My family, too, has been gutted by the stupid actions of stupid people leading to the loss of a beautiful kind soul.
Your post has touched me to the core, i know that my words are no remedy to your emotional torment but i felt compelled to show my support without knowing what to say.
May the powers that be find justice.

Anish April 12, 2013 - 11:19 am

I know there are no words that could make things better , just want to let you know that we’re thinking of you.

If you could create some form of petition online that we could sign to make the authorities stand up and sort things out then please let us know.

Lorraine S. McLean April 12, 2013 - 11:20 am

Dear Glen;
If I can offer any help, encouragement, or just a friend to listen to….then I can be someone on the other end – of an email, to help and comfort.
I had two daughters, around the same ages as your daughter. And their constant welfare and concern, is a daily worry for me.
But I have also known grief, and despair, living in a deep cavern of black lifeless hopelessness….as you too, are venturing into.
Many times I wanted to leave this earth, due to horrific things that happened to me – but held on, for my children.
Your beloved Reteath – she lives in you, and her soul is around you – just now – as we speak. She will never leave your side, and you must be brave. Your baby is holding your hand now, and asking you ~ to hold on….her glorious spiritual energy will bring you peace.
Loving Concern in Ontario,
Lorraine S. McLean

Tsippy April 12, 2013 - 11:26 am

Shame on the government and judicial system!!!
We are so very very sorry for you most grievous loss, we can’t even imagine the pain you and the family are suffering, nor understand how these wicked animals could get away without paying the price in court. Yet we know that although it looks like they got away with it, they will be haunted by all this, no one really gets away with anything in life. Well done for focusing on your daughter’s beauty, her compassion and how she gave life to others. Our hearts and prayers are with you. God bless you and keep you strong as so many others will see you plight and join you learn from you.

sir April 12, 2013 - 11:30 am

I have two daughters myself and could feel the same pain inside as you are feeling at the moment whilst reading your message.

People say that time is a healer, and I hope your pain soon goes away whilst your daughter remains in your heart.
Everyone is proud of her as she has continued giving after her life ended.

I wish you and the rest of the family all the strength to go through this difficult time.

George Quaye April 12, 2013 - 11:32 am

To the parents, friends and family of Raetaeh Parsons,
I felt so sad reading your blog, and about what happened to your daughter. Am a 49 year old man and not easily moved to tears, but I cried and cried. I want you all to know that you now have many many daughters, brothers and sisters all over the world now and we are all embracing and supporting you. Your daugher lives in all of us. She was a good girl.

Carrie April 12, 2013 - 11:36 am

What a beautiful girl! I am so incredibly sorry for what she had to go through and for what you now have to go through. My heart is broken for you and I pray that you find peace and comfort. It takes time, and the pain never fully goes away, but eventually you find a new normal and you learn to live with the pain.

Anne Walker April 12, 2013 - 11:43 am

The tears are running down my face as I type. Myheart grieves for you both! You gave yourself to her completely. remeber the joy and lock some of the hurt away. Live as she would have wanted you to. God bless.

Lily April 12, 2013 - 11:53 am

Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through and I hope that you are able to find comfort in the beautiful memories of Rehtaeh. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Linda Schmidt April 12, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Through your comments I can imagine the grief, anger, frustration and devastation this has caused you and the terrible impact it clearly had on your daughter. I can’t imagine though how on earth anyone deals with this kind of loss and injustice. Your loss and your daughter’s loss of life is a terrible tragedy. I feel very sad for your daughter and you and your family. I hope you can find some peace one day. My heart felt condolences.

Kirsty April 12, 2013 - 12:06 pm

This blog made me cry, I am so sorry for your loss and I can not imagne what you are going through right now but I can tell you were an amazing father to your daughter. Thoughts are with you and your family <3 Scotland x

Donna April 12, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Your heartfelt words move me beyond belief. May your daughter’s memory live on in your hearts, and in the hearts of all who read your words. May we find a way to change this unjust system for the better. God bless you and your family.

Janine April 12, 2013 - 12:22 pm

I am so sorry. My prayers are with you. I also pray our justice systems wake up and do something. Rape destroys lives. We have a six year old daughter and I can only imagine your pain. May God help you to find a way through.

Ana Martinez April 12, 2013 - 12:34 pm

You should sign the petition to bring the criminals to justice:

M April 12, 2013 - 12:35 pm

I have fell on tears by reading this heartbroken history. Please accept my deepest condolences and I hope one day the justice will be done for you and yours family.

Hub City Girl April 12, 2013 - 1:40 pm

From one parent to another, my deepest and most sincere condolences to you and your family. My heart cried when I read this post – so beautiful. I cannot even begin to imagine the devastation that comes with all of this for you. Prayers to you.

Carlos April 12, 2013 - 1:48 pm

Dear Glen,

It may doesn’t seem like but many people feel your pain and they stand along side you. Keep fighting for her, the most precious thing you had in your life. She is not gone, she is deep in your heart.


catherine April 12, 2013 - 1:55 pm

I was distraught to learn of your story. your daughter is a beautiful person. I say ‘is’ because I believe love and beauty doesn’t just disappear after death. I sincerely hope that justice is done for her, so that you may have some rest for your heart. what a beautiful family you all are. warmest regards, Catherine UK

John Rondina April 12, 2013 - 2:05 pm


You are a tower amongst men.

Your daughter was, is, beauty incarnate.

All the strength I have,


Jayne April 12, 2013 - 2:07 pm

As the mother of a 17 year old I can only imagine what you have been through. My heart is crying for her and you. Please accept my deepest condolences.

Ruth Kozak April 12, 2013 - 2:32 pm

I cried as I read this. I have a daughter and to think what you must be going through is unbearable. The people who pushed her to this need to be held accountable. This was a huge tragedy, not just for you, but for a society who allows this to happen.

Laura April 12, 2013 - 3:10 pm

As a mom of two small children, my heart is breaking for you and your fa